If football hadn’t gone mad already, it certainly has now.
Reports from AS claim that the Chinese Super League’s habit of pulling out all the stops in order to sign top players from Europe has been taken to an all new level – and it involves five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) 16. prosinca 2016.
Hebei China Fortune are well and truly living up to their name, as the latest claims are that they’ll offer the Barcelona superstar €500m over five years in order to sign for them. That’s a quite ridiculous €100m-a-year salary.
Messi is currently in talks with Barcelona over signing a new long-term contract himself, though the CSL club are looking to meddle in negotiations and make Messi by far and away the world’s highest paid footballer.
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) 17. prosinca 2016.
The club have former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini at their helm, and are already playing the likes of Gervinho and Messi’s international teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi massive sums of cash. Messi’s potential deal would however blow each one right out of the water, and make the talk over Oscar’s impending £60m arrival to China mere small-fry.
It’s not believed to be too much of a concern to Barcelona, who will expect Messi to sign a new deal eventually – albeit for a third of the money being talked about here – but what it does show is the levels Chinese Super League clubs will go to in order to become a force in world football.
Speculation over Messi’s future continues to rumble on, though Barcelona are hopeful that the talk can be put to bed sooner rather than later.