Barcelona could be preparing to sell their star player, Lionel Messi, after Spanish sports channel, Esport3, claim the club have set a £250million asking price to secure the players services.
Messi, who is currently considered the world's best player and has also been tipped to become the best ever player, hasn't been at his best this season – scoring just 25 goals in 26 La Liga games and adding only 10 assists.
However, Barcelona have suffered three defeats in a row, being knocked out of the Champions League and losing the final of the Copa del Rey in the process, and Messi has failed to find the net in all three games.
Former Barcelona player, Juan Manuel Asensi, recently stated a belief that “something's happened and it must be big because Messi hasn't had the right attitude in the last few games so something must be going on; something's up with Messi”.
It is widely believed that Messi – who has been playing at the Catalonian club since the age of 13 – is unhappy that contract talks have stalled and is beginning to feel undervalued by the club.
Messi is asking for a whopping £20.5million a year, and while they are supposedly happy to oblige, the player is reportedly unwilling to hand over half of his image rights, all of which currently go to him.
Despite his current deal running until 2018, it was revealed that the Barcelona board now believe the team would be better off investing the money they would receive from transfer, as well as the money they would save on his contract, elsewhere – particularly considering his poor form in the Champions League this season.
At the age of 26, the world's best should soon be reaching his prime, and there is no doubt that he can have at least another 10 years at the top level.
While Financial Fair Play is set to kick in, there are still a number of clubs who would consider a move for such a talent, and would even consider harsh sanctions in order to land Messi.
Paris Saint-Germain are apparently willing to splash £205million on Messi, which is the currently buy-out clause in his contract.
Manchester City have also been linked as a possible destination, while Argentine legend, Diego Maradona, has recently stated that Bayern Munich should attempt to sign the forward, who excelled under Pep Guardiola.
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