Lionel Messi: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich can afford star but must change transfer plan
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich can afford to sign Lionel Messi, according to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol. However, Abramovich is currently focused on signing other targets for head coach Frank Lampard. Barcelona have been rocked by the news that superstar forward Messi has told the La Liga club he wants to leave after a two-decade association with them.
Messi’s legal representatives sent a burofax to Barcelona to state his desire to leave.
The news comes 10 days after Barca’s shocking 8-2 demolition by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final.
Speaking about the Argentina star on Tuesday evening’s The Transfer Show, Solhekol discussed the teams who can afford Messi.
He believes Manchester City is the most realistic option in England currently as Chelsea are closing in on signings of Germany star Kai Havertz and Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell.
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However, Solhekol says Abramovich would be able to pay what Messi would want.
“I can see him playing for Manchester City,” Solhekol said.
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“Looking at those numbers, who else could afford to pay him? Roman Abramovich could but Roman Abramovich is busy backing Frank Lampard to make other signings, they have other targets.
“I don’t think Lionel Messi has ever been mentioned in connection with Chelsea.
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“Who are the other clubs in the Premier League who could afford to sign him?
“You’re talking about Liverpool, no, Manchester United, no, they don’t have the money to sign Jadon Sancho at the moment, how are they going to be able to afford Lionel Messi?
“I just think, if we’re talking about the Premier League, it’s Manchester City or nobody else.
“Wider you’re looking at PSG and then you have to look at the middle east, MLS. He’s 33, maybe he wants to wind down his career.”
Solhekol has suggested that now might be the best time for Messi to leave the Nou Camp.
“Every player has his sell-by date,” he continued.
“At some point Lionel Messi is going to have to leave Barcelona. He is 33, look at how much they’re paying him.
“Incredible numbers he is earning at Barcelona and do they want to keep on giving him that much money when he’s 33?
“We’re getting to a stage where Barcelona have to plan for the future without Lionel Messi.”
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