Recent rumours state that Lionel Messi of Barcelona was reportedly close to signing with Chelsea in the summer of 2014
There has been a lot of drama recently regarding the future of Barcelona ace Lionel Messi. The Argentina international had been extremely upset by the decisions taken by the board of the club for bringing in new players and the managing staff. And with the scandal involving club president Josep Maria Bartomeu for the online trolls against players of his own team, Messi decided that enough was enough and this was the last straw.
What followed was a formal transfer request handed in by the 33-year old to leave the club to destinations elsewhere, however, to his dismay the club refuted his request forcing Barca’s all-time leading goalscorer to stay at the club until his contract runs out in 2022. The star forward does have a release clause in his contract but it is placed at a fee of around 700 million euros, a fee which no club can afford to pay especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, this does not happen to be the only time that the Argentinian star has been linked with a move away from the club. Back in 2014, a case of tax fraud was filed against Messi for which he was proven guilty. Due to the bad treatment during the whole process by his country of residence, Spain. The player decided to leave the country and his club and, according to reports he was very close to signing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
The ‘special one’ reportedly had a video call with Messi and convinced him of a move to the Blues. Chelsea was even prepared to pay his release clause 225 million euros at the time and offer him a salary of a staggering 50 million euros a year. Everything was set for the Barca star as he was convinced that with Jose, he can win anything he liked. And looking at the Portuguese manager’s track record it is not hard to believe his words.
With the inclusion of Messi in the squad, Chelsea would undoubtedly have risen among all the competition in the league as their attack would have consisted of Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba, Diego Costa, and Lionel Messi. Though Mourinho’s side did end up winning the league that season, to their dismay, a move for Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer could not be carried out.
Messi’s agent and his father were strongly against the move which caused the deal to collapse. Barcelona went on to win the treble that season with the help of Lionel Messi putting up fantastic numbers, with his scoring 58 goals and providing 30 assists from 57 total games. One can only imagine how different the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi rivalry could have been and what feats could Chelsea could have achieved if a deal was materialized between the two parties.
Image Credits- Barcelona Twitter