Lionel Messi turned down a sensational move to an unknown Russian club, believed to be Anzhi Makachkala, for a record breaking €250 million transfer fee.
According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo the fee, which triggered the release clause written into the Argentinian forward’s contract, was backed up by a contract offer worth an astonishing £460,000-per-week - equivalent to around £24 million-a-year.
Barcelona were obliged to accept the extraordinary offer but it was quickly rebuffed by Messi and his father Jorge after discussions with the Catalan club’s president, Sandro Rosell.
Soon after the rejected offer earlier this month, Messi pledged his future to Barcelona by signing a new contract that will keep him at the Nou Camp until 2018.
Messi’s new deal comes at the end of a hugely successful 2012, in which he shattered two major goal scoring records.
The 25-year-old not only broke the record for most goals in a single European season last season, he also recently set a new tally for most goals in a single calendar year with his 91st goal of 2012 against Vallaloid last week, leaving him six goals clear of the previous best mark, set by Gerd Muller in 1972.
Messi could also become the first player in the history of the Ballon d’Or to win four consecutive trophies next month.