Manchester City and Chelsea have been linked with a blockbuster move for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in the summer, but according to one football finance expert, only one club in Europe can afford Messi under Financial Fair Play and that is Manchester United. Note. Real Madrid can also afford Messi, but the four-time World Player of the Year is not going to the Bernabéu, leaving Old Trafford the only likely destination.
The Daily Star has interview with Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University, who claims only Manchester United and Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid could afford to sign Messi, with Financial Fair Play rules stopping other clubs from entering the race.
“With the revenue they generate and cash reserves, only United and Real Madrid could pay the fee,” he said.
“With salary costs probably even they couldn’t stay within FFP.”
“Staggering the payments would certainly make it easier for Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Bayern Munich but Manchester United demanded the fee up front when they sold Cristiano Ronaldo and I strongly suspect it would be the same for Messi.
“[But] Unless Messi absolutely wanted to get out of the club, why would Barcelona agree to that?
“Chelsea and Manchester City clearly have the financial power but whether they would just do the deal and worry about the consequences afterwards is another matter.
“Most people thought Uefa would take a light touch approach to FFP. In fact they have shown a willingness to apply it pretty rigorously.”
Chelsea assistant manager Steve Holland on Friday confirmed Wilson’s comments saying that the idea of Chelsea signing Messi is “almost impossible”
“When you look at some of the numbers mentioned around the Messi deal, you would think it is almost impossible.”