Manchester City will only be able to sign Argentine superstar Lionel Messi only on a free transfer from Barcelona due to UEFA financial fair play rules, media reported Tuesday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st September, 2020) Manchester City will only be able to sign Argentine superstar Lionel Messi only on a free transfer from Barcelona due to UEFA financial fair play rules, media reported Tuesday.
Earlier in the month, Messi notified Barcelona of his intention to transfer elsewhere after a crushing 8-2 Champions League defeat at the hands of eventual title-winners Bayern Munich. The move set the footballing world alight with rumors of the prospects of the 33-year-old, who has spent his entire professional career in Catalonia.
According to Spanish sports news outlet Mundo Deportivo, Manchester City management has drawn the conclusion that a move for Messi would only make financial sense if he came to north England on a free transfer. The Emirati-owned English club had earlier been sanctioned by UEFA for violating financial fair play rules, and management is keen not to land in hot water again over excessive spending.
A legal battle appears to be brewing over Messi's future. His legal team claims that a clause in his contract allows him to leave on a free transfer at the end of any season. Spanish football's governing body on Sunday said that Messi may only leave if his 700-million-euro ($835 million) release clause is paid to the club.
Another Spanish sports news outlet, Sports.es, reported that the "Cityzens" are prepared to offer Messi a nearly $600 million pay package for a five-year contract. The sum would be insurmountable if the club was also made to pay Barcelona to release the player, even for the big spender City.
Messi has been part of the club since 2000 and has won dozens of trophies and even headlined two treble-winning seasons. The club's last Champions League win, however, came in 2015 and it has since suffered humiliating exits from the competition annually. It is widely believed that Messi has been increasingly at odds with the way the club is run.