Chelsea have absolutely no chance of agreeing a deal for Lionel Messi with their finances suggesting they are closer to bankruptcy than breaking the transfer record, a report from Mundo Deportivo has claimed.
With the Argentine being linked with a move away from Barcelona, Stamford Bridge has been labelled as one of only a handful of places he would want to end up. He shares a close relationship with Cesc Fabregas and owner Roman Abramovich could agree to fund a transfer.
A bid of £200 million would be required to activate Messi's release clause while an incredible pay packet could take the total value of a six-year contract up to an astonishing £500 million.
However, Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo has looked into Chelsea's accounts and believe that the Blues are heading in the direction of a financial disaster. Their huge debts coupled with Uefa's financial fair play restrictions will leave Jose Mourinho with little money for transfers in the coming years.
That leaves them with essentially zero per cent chance of financing a deal for Messi, leaving Manchester United and Bayern Munich as the only clubs who could possibly sign him.
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A report in The Guardian suggested that Louis van Gaal had been alerted to Messi's availability after he insinuated that he could leave Barcelona in the near future. The Red Devils have an incredible amount of income generated from the commercial side of the business. Deals with Adidas and Chevrolet means a deal for Messi would be possible.
But Chelsea are still far behind Manchester United in revenue. Their turnover from last year was a record £320 million, but that is still some £100 million behind Manchester United.
The £1 billion debt
Meanwhile the strain of lavish spending since Abramovich's arrival has left Chelsea with an incredible amount of debt. The club are believed to owe the Russian over £1 billion under a complex, interest free loan system from Fordstam.
He retains the right to call in such a debt at any time with just 18 months notice. Such a decision would leave Chelsea in financial ruin and it is not clear how this debt stacks up against financial fair play regulations.