Reports from Spain and Germany suggest that Real Madrid tried to do the impossible in 2013.
Der Spiegel and El Mundo claim that Los Blancos were willing to activate Lionel Messi’s release clause and offer him wages of €23million-a-year.
The Argentine No10’s release clause in 2013 was €250million.
The report claims Real Madrid contacted Jorge Messi, father and agent of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, and told him of their intentions.
Supposedly, a meeting on a private jet was arranged that would have involved Messi, his dad, his lawyer, Florentino Perez and a lawyer from Madrid.
This meeting never materialised as Messi chose to remain loyal to Barca, despite the prospect of earning €440,000-a-week.
Rather more seriously, Der Spiegel claim that Real Madrid promised to ‘exert pressure’ on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to be lenient on Messi in relation to his tax evasion charges.
Real Madrid have responded to the claims, calling the report ‘totally false.’
This approach is said to have occurred a few months before Real Madrid signed Gareth Bale for a world record fee of €100m.
The report suggest that the Welsh forward was Plan B and Real Madrid had hoped to pair Cristiano Ronaldo with Messi in what surely would have been the most devastating partnership of all time.
If the report is true then Messi must be commended for remaining loyal to Barcelona in the face of huge temptation.
Imagine how many pig heads would have been thrown during his first Clasico in a white kit…