If this is true then Real Madrid fans might as well pack their bags now. Or, at the very least, should prepare to elect a new president next year, because it would be quite clear that Florentino Perez has lost it.
No, we're not talking about Rafa Benitez's arrival last summer or even the sacking of Vicente Del Bosque two days after Real Madrid had won La Liga. Instead, we are referring to the sensational claims made by prominent Spanish radio station Cadena COPE on Wednesday evening.
Usually a fairly reliable source of news, the media outlet claims to have received information regarding audacious attempts from Los Blancos to coax the one and only Leo Messi away from Barcelona.
Allegedly, Messi was contacted three times between 2011 and 2014 and asked if he fancied a move to the Bernabeu. Naturally, he knocked them back every time.
It is hard to believe that Real Madrid would ever waste their time on such a pointless venture, but, again, we are talking about Real Madrid. They don't play by the same rules and are constantly on the lookout for the next groundbreaking transfer deal.
The first approach
Possibly the most interesting of the three, the report claims that Real Madrid hired an intermediary in 2011 to contact Messi because they feared Cristiano Ronaldo was on his way back to Manchester. Both United and City were considering a bid and Real Madrid let it be known that they wanted Messi to replace him. He said no.
The second approach
Two years later and the same events were unfolding. Ronaldo's future was in doubt and Real Madrid had just lost out on the race to sign Neymar. They asked Messi if he would join them if Ronaldo left. He said no.
The final approach
Not one to take no for an answer, they returned in 2014 with a third offer. This time, they ditched the intermediary and asked a high-ranking Bernabeu chief to do the dirty work, contacting Messi directly. But, alas, the answer remained the same and Messi remains at the Camp Nou.
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