The Most Expensive Transfer in Football History…we think

Lionel Messi will potentially transfer to PSG, Manchester City, Newell's Old Boys, or Inter Milan

Leo+Messi+in+a+Man+City+Jersey+for+the+first+time+%0APhotoshoped

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Leo Messi in a Man City Jersey for the first time Photoshoped

Soccer is one of the biggest economic-based sports in the world. When I mean economic, I mean high incomes and lots of money. Bigger clubs in Europe have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for players just to come to play for their team. Not to sign and pay them, just the right to play for said team.

Names that come to mind are Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Neymar, Paul Pogba, and Gareth Bale. All these players have something in common, they were the highest-paid transfer target ever. All apart from Leo Messi.

Messi, 33, has played for Barcelona since the age of 13. Working his way up through the youth ranks and eventually making his first-team debut in 2005 at the age of 17. He is considered the greatest of all time but has denied it on multiple occasions even though he is the proud owner of 6 Men’s Player of the year awards, 6 Balon D’ors, 4 Champions League Titles, and 10 Spanish Championships.

Messi has won every major trophy, but the World Cup.

6th Balon Dor
Lionel Messi wins his 6th Balon Dor award in 2019 with a tight race between Ronaldo and Lewendowski (Getty Images)

The reason I talk about Messi’s stats and his accomplishments is that he stated after a 20-year stay in Barcelona, he wants to make his exit. Messi currently holds a transfer value of 123.20 Million according to Transfermarkt.us.

Many massive European teams have been interested in signing the Argentinian wonder. Manchester City has been looked at by the media of the best suitor and fit for Messi. Aside from City, He has offers at Juventus, PSG, Inter Milan, and his boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys.

Messi is trying to exercise a clause in his contract that states after a season he can leave if he chooses. This means after a season in Barcelona he can just walk and join whichever club he wants. But there have been some hold-ups on the legal side. Barcelona and their legal team have come out and said that the time for Leo to exercise this option and sign for another team expired in June. Messi’s legal team has stated and continues to argue that he has already rescinded his contract with the club, hence why he did not join them at the start of preseason.

This decision was taken up with La Liga, (Spanish directly translated to “The League”) and they ultimately decided they side with Barcelona’s legal team. There could be many reasons why they side with Barcelona. One being that Barcelona is one of the top clubs in the world and that is because of Messi. Secondly, Messi is one of the most recognizable players in the sport. Most would assume he drives most of the revenue for the league and Barcelona, and they want to keep him around to make up the money they lost from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Messi hoists his 6th Balon Dor win in the Camp Nou in Barcelona (ESPN)

Manchester City, PSG, Inter Milan, and Newell’s Old Boys all want a shot at Messi, but it is going to cost them a pretty penny. Since Messi (as of right now 8/31/20) will not be able to leave on a free transfer, his release clause in his contract is 700 Million Euros which is roughly about 836,264,800.00 USD.

There are many reasons that each team would be the best suitor for Messi and there is a very strong case for Manchester City.

Leo Messi in a Man City Jersey for the first time
Photoshoped (Getty Images)

Manchester City is a very wealthy club on its own without some of the players on the squad. One of the minority owners is a Minister of Presidential Affairs in Abu Dhabi. The club net worth is somewhere in the billions and they can easily afford Messi. Secondly, the current manager of Manchester City is the former Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola. Guardiola coached a star-studded lineup at Barcelona from 2008-2012 before a sabbatical and then eventually a new coaching job with the German giants Bayern Munich. He and Messi have a very good relationship and have already worked with each other in the past. Third, this move would make sense because of his attacking partners. As previously stated, Messi is an Argentine international and plays for Argentina. He and a teammate on the national team by the name of Sergio Aguero would be playing together at City. Between Messi and Aguero they have 235 National Team caps and 111 National Team goals. This tag-team would bully the Premier League. Finally, the link with City Football Group is a big play for Messi and his agent. City Football Group owns three Men’s soccer clubs. Manchester City, and two feeders, Melbourne City in the A-League (home of former FCCer Harrison Delbridge), and New York City FC in MLS. Messi would potentially be signing a five-year deal at City which would include a three-year stay in Manchester and a two-year stay in New York in MLS.

Not only would the move benefit City, but it would also benefit MLS exponentially. As previously stated, Messi is holding La Liga and Barca together because he is their star player and money maker. If MLS can acquire such talent, the league would grow to new heights. Merchandise sales would be up a lot. Messi Jerseys would be flying off the shelves and City Football Group would be raking it in.

Messi in disappointment as Barcelona drop points in La Liga

Now, what could be stopping this move all together if it gets past the Barcelona Legal team? Most likely, the UEFA Financial Fair Play Rule will be coming into play. The FFP Rule was established to prevent professional football clubs from spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success and in doing so getting into financial problems that might threaten their long-term survival. There have been rumors of Manchester City breaking this rule already, but it would not be on the scale of 700 million Euros. Manchester City spent 138.4 Million on transfers in 2019. That is just above one-seventh of what they would send away for Messi.

This would be a blockbuster buy for Manchester City, but could it sink them. City would be spending half their club value on Messi and who knows, he could be a massive bust, but it is not very likely.