Barcelona confirmed on Friday that Lionel Messi had signed a new long-term contract with the club. There was a period of uncertainty before an agreement was reached and, it has been claimed, over 15 clubs enquired about Messi’s situation as negotiations stalled.
Messi has agreed what is reported to be a world record five-year deal, which will supposedly see the Barcelona superstar earn £180 million over its duration, with his season salary set at £36 million before tax.
There were claims that Messi was delaying the signing of his contract because he wanted assurances over specific acquisitions and other renewals, although these suggestions were dismissed by the player’s father Jorge.
According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, this supposed indecision prompted a number of other teams to get in touch with Barcelona of the course of the season in order to gauge the player’s potential availability.
It is unclear which clubs had made the informal approaches for Messi, although the player has been linked with both Chelsea and Manchester City. The latter, it was claimed only last month, were considering a world record shattering £250 million bid in the hope of capturing Messi during the summer transfer window.