What Lionel Messi told Man City boss Pep Guardiola in phone call as contract agreed
Lionel Messi told Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola that he wants a move to the Etihad this summer, and doesn’t care about the financial aspect of the deal, according to reports in Spain. Messi has told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club this summer.
Messi is desperate to join City this summer and reunite with Guardiola.
The Argentine forward rocked the Nou Camp by handing in a transfer request earlier this week.
He told the Catalans that he wanted to exercise a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free at the end of the season.
However, Barcelona are still standing firm on refusing him to leave, saying the clause expired back in June.
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Instead, they believe if he is to leave, a team will have to pay an astronomical £636million to sign him and release him from his contract, a fee which would more than triple the current world transfer record of £198m.
City are believed to have put money aside to sign him if they are able to, and are planning to fork out £150m in a transfer fee, with £70m put to one side for his contract.
Messi is currently the highest-paid footballer in the world, and earns close to £1m-a-week in wages, image rights and other bonuses.
With that in mind, there are very few teams in the world with the financial ability to afford him, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain touted as the two favourites for his signature.
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And according to reports in Spain, Messi has spoken to Guardiola and hinted he would take a paycut to join City.
He was apparently offered to the Citizens ten days before he handed in his transfer request, and held preliminary talks over the move.
Veronica Brunati, the first journalist to break the news of his transfer request, has claimed he has agreed personal terms with City regarding the finances of the deal.
There still appear to be several roadblocks in the way of a deal, with rumours suggesting the matter could end up being heard in court.
Barca are said to be willing to lower their asking price to £150m as a gesture in order to get the deal done and allow their all-time record goalscorer to move on.
The Catalans are in massive financial trouble and need to recoup money before they can invest this summer, with Ronald Koeman planning a squad overhaul.
For that reason, it’s possible that Messi could make way in order to raise funds.
Luis Suarez is also set to be sold for as little as £28m, with Juventus looking like his next club after Andrea Pirlo decided to cancel the contract of Gonzalo Higuain.
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