Is this England's answer to the recent Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard rumors from France and Spain? You may take our best player, but then we'll take yours?
Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are ALL attempting to persuade Lionel Messi to swap Barcelona for the Prem. And the Argentine superstar has given the trio the clearest hint yet that he is ready to listen.
The change of stance from Messi, 28, comes with the Argentine growing increasingly angry at ongoing issues with the Spanish tax authorities.
-source: The Sun
Yes, it's The Sun, Martin Lipton, The Sun's head football honcho with the "exclusive" byline, even. But when people are losing their minds over Eden Hazard liking an Instagram photo and L'Equipe claiming to know what's going on inside the Chelsea dressing room (and inside the minds of the people inside the Chelsea dressing room), clearly our standards for freaking out about transfer rumors have dropped considerably. So have at it!
I believe top PL clubs have been surprised by the reception of their approaches. It doesn't mean Messi would go 4 sure but he is listening— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) October 23, 2015
That said, I almost want this to happen, just for the sheer audacity of it. The whole chain of events that is. Cristiano Ronaldo going to PSG from Real Madrid, Eden Hazard going from Chelsea to Real Madrid, and Lionel Messi going from Barcelona to Chelsea, to join his old friends Cesc Fabregas and Pedro. It would be the closest equivalent to a blockbuster trade the sport (if not the world) has ever seen. Throw in maybe Ibrahimovic or David Luiz moving to Barcelona to truly close the loop and it would be tremendous drama and spectacle...
Messi's current deal has a prohibitive buy-out clause of 250million EUROS, making a move this summer infeasible.
But by June 2017, when he turns 30 and with one year left in his contract, Barca may be more keen to sell, although the English trio would still have to smash their wage structure to accommodate Messi's demand for a deal matching his current one.
-source: The Sun
Oh. Well? Still. Welcome, Messi. Written in the stars.