Has Lionel Messi signed Rs 6.072 crore-deal with Manchester City?

Updated: 03 September, 2020 07:48 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Barcelona star seals five-year deal worth Rs 6,072cr with EPL giants Man City, claim British media reports

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. Pic/Getty Images
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. Pic/Getty Images

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has reportedly agreed to a five-year contract with top English Premier League club Manchester City.

Messi, 33, last week, told Barcelona that he wanted to leave days after the season ended in a 2-8 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The humiliating defeat capped a complicated season for Barcelona, the first without a title since 2007-08. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner had, earlier, said that he was keen to work with City manager Pep Guardiola, who was the Barcelona coach from 2008 to 2012.

Highest-paid player

According to British media reports, the Argentine has agreed to a deal worth €700 million (R6,072cr) with City Football Group (CFG)—the company that owns Manchester City as well as Major League Soccer club, New York City. The deal will make Messi the highest-paid player in the history of football.

As per the contract, Messi will spend three seasons in Manchester, before joining New York City FC for the next two years thereafter.

It is learnt that Messi will also be given a handsome equity stake in CFG as part of the record deal.

Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge in Barcelona yesterday. pic/AFP
Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge in Barcelona yesterday. pic/AFP

Meanwhile, Jorge Messi, the father and agent of Messi, said on Wednesday that he felt it was “difficult” for his son to continue at Barcelona.

Messi Sr landed in Barcelona on Wednesday ahead of talks with the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu about the striker’s intention to leave the Catalan giants this summer.

Messi Sr flew in from the Argentine city of Rosario, landing at a private terminal in Barcelona’s El Prat airport on Wednesday morning. When asked by reporters about the possibility of Messi staying with the Spanish giants, Jorge Messi said: “It’s difficult.”

He was then asked how he sees his son’s future at Barca, to which he replied: “Difficult, difficult”. When the prospect of joining Manchester City was put to him, he said: “There’s nothing yet.”

No talks with Pep: Father

“I have not spoken to Pep,” said Jorge before quickly adding: “Not [spoken] to anyone.”

The stand-off between Barca and Messi threatens to descend into an expensive and bitter legal battle if a resolution cannot be found. Messi boycotted Barcelona’s first pre-season training session on Monday. He also failed to attend a COVID-19 test at Barcelona’s training ground on Sunday.

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First Published: 03 September, 2020 07:33 IST

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