Manchester City, the frontrunners of the race to sign Lionel Messi last summer from Barcelona during a bitter contract dispute has reportedly pulled out of the deal due to wages and age.
AllNews understands that the 33-year-old would be out of contract at the end of the season, making him free to negotiate with other clubs from January and appearing to make a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola all the more likely.
Speculations about the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner going to Etihad was amplified when Manchester City extended the contract of former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola.
The case seems to be the opposite now after Spanish football expert Semra Hunter said that the Premier League club are no longer keen on signing the Barcelona Maestro with his age and €100m-a-year wage (£89m) thought to be a deal-breaker for City.
"I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi," "Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed”, Hunter said.
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Messi was reported to have spoken to his former coach about a reunion in England as the recent losses, transfer, and lack of trophy at Camp Nou has discouraged the Argentine captain.
"They have their reasons for this. They have two reasons for this: age and finances. Talking about age, he is heading into the twilight years of his career and you'll be bringing on board a Messi that is different to what we've seen for the last 17 years with Barcelona. Even he himself has said that he is getting closer to the dreaded r-word of retirement more so than anyone cares to admit.
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Lionel Messi's returns in La Liga has dropped with the Barcelona skipper scoring most of his goals from spot-kick and just 1 goal from open play.
Barcelona currently sits at 12th on La Liga standing though with 2 games outstanding - with the highest scorer of the Blaugrana being injured, Ansu Fati (4 goals), with Messi just managing 3 goals so far after 8 matches.
So, if the Etihad outfit looks at his performance in recent games, that is enough to pull out of the deal.
"That goes hand-in-hand with finances because even though he would be able to join for free, his wages are astronomically high - he is earning about 100m euros-a-year. That would be a huge financial burden for any club to take on, especially given the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the club bare given the reduction in incomes and revenue to the club from matchday sales – despite these, the Citizens can still look to sign him but would not be ready to sanction such a transfer for a player who would only play for 2-3 years max but ‘hanging his boot’.