Chelsea are prepared to hand Lionel Messi a massive six-year contract in order to lure the Argentinian ace from Barcelona according to the Daily Star.
The paper adds that the Blues are willing to pay Messi's £200 million release clause, while his wages could double the cost of the deal to £400 million.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted yesterday that the four-time Ballon d'Or winner would remain at the Nou Camp for the foreseeable future, however reports suggest that Messi is as close to leaving the Catalan club as he's ever been.
Messi is believed to share a fractious relationship with boss Luis Enrique, and after being dropped for the defeat against Real Sociedad did not turn up for training the next day. Adding to the confusion at Barcelona is the fact that sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has left the club, while club legend Carles Puyol has stepped down from his role as Zubizarreta's assistant.
Chelsea are seemingly hoping to capitalise on the chaos at the Nou Camp by making a record-shattering £200 million offer for Messi in the summer, and they will back it up with a bumper contract offer.
Although the Star do not mention any exact figures, they believe that his contract would double cost of the deal and that would put the Barcelona star's wages at over £600,000-per-week before tax.
Of course Chelsea will have to try and make the deal work within the limits of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules that both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have fallen foul of.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reigned in his spending at Stamford Bridge recently, and the club announced in November that they had made a profit for only the second time since the Russian took over in 2003.
Despite the concerns off the pitch, Messi has continued his record-breaking form this season and is now the leading goalscorer in the Champions League and La Liga.
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