HALF of the Argentine phenom’s fans would like the ring to it.
Manchester Messi: from Catalonia to England, from La Liga to the Premier League, from one era to the next.
While not a done deal, all things point to the world’s best living footballer moving to cash-rich Manchester City from strife-torn FC Barcelona.
In a huge development to this transfer saga, Messi has reportedly agreed to a five-year contract with City.
The deal is worth a whopping 700 million euros, the same amount as his release clause, or the sum that Barca would be willing to part with the player to cut short his contract.
Problem is Barca, the club of Messi’s youth, is playing hardball.
The latest talks between Barca and Messi’s agent, his father Jorge Messi, have bogged down.
In an ESPN report Thursday, Sept. 3, FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu maintained that the 33-year-old star player remains under contract until 2021, while Messi’s father claims his son can leave for free.
The two-hour meeting obviously didn’t go too well.
Bartomeu supposedly “reiterated the club’s stance that Messi is not for sale,” unless of course an interested club wants to pay his 700 million euros release clause.
But Messi wants out.
And debt-ridden FC Barcelona needs money to pay its creditors and pursue its expansion plans, especially the 600 million euros Camp Nou redevelopment that has repeatedly been postponed since 2014.
FC Barcelona clearly needs the money, but the last thing it doesn’t need is a non-performing, uninspired football icon slash cash cow.
Manchester City must make Manchester Messi happen to save the day.