Offer Forced Barcelona To Revise Their Own Offer
Manchester City offered Lionel Messi a deal worth £1.5million a week plus an £88million signing-on bonus before the Argentine signed his new deal with Barcelona.
According to the Madrid-based newspaper Marca, City offered the 30-year-old a deal worth €50million a year after tax – that’s the equivalent of just over £1.5million a week. In addition, they would have paid the Barcelona superstar a signing-on fee worth €100million spread over the life of his contract.
The offer was made directly to Messi without the use of any intermediaries. But it was also made without the knowledge of Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Messi’s new contract was announced last month. It was claimed in July that he was being offered a ‘renewal premium’ – another name for a signing-on bonus – worth €50million. Rumours at the time claimed the new deal was worth at least £500,000 a week. Messi’s father had agreed the deal although Messi himself had yet to put pen to paper. However, Neymar’s transfer and the discovery by the Barca hierarchy of City’s offer to Messi led to a rapid renegotiation.
Messi’s new deal with Barca is worth up to €50million a year nett of taxes once his image rights are taken into account. The deal runs to 2021. Having seen Paris Saint-Germain pay Neymar’s release fee of €222million in August, Barcelona went back to the drawing board. The release clause in his new deal was initially slated to be €300million. The Barcelona board upped that to €700million having decided that the initial fee might not be enough of a deterrent to the likes of City or PSG.
But City’s interest is now at an end. Messi turned 30 in June and it was now or never for Sheikh Mansour. The Argentine legend is likely to see out his Barcelona contract before returning to his homeland to play for boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys where he will see out his career. There will be no move to Manchester City.