Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could finally have the chance to complete a move for Lionel Messi following a failed £225million transfer seven years ago. Messi has left Barcelona after the Catalan club were unable to get his new contract cleared by La Liga.
The Argentine superstar is now a free agent for the first time in his career, with most of Europe’s top clubs now chasing him.
Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all reportedly attempting to come up with the cash required to pay Messi’s expensive contract.
Abramovich himself is understood to be keen to bring in the former Barca star and is reportedly scheduling a meeting to discuss the move.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have made just one signing so far this summer – third choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.
The Blues are chasing a record-breaking deal for Romelu Lukaku, with Inter Milan holding out for a fee in excess of £100million.
It is stated that it would have cost a world-record fee of £225m for Messi to join the Stamford Bridge side, with that being his release clause at the time.
Messi would have also earned £50m per season plus 70 per cent of image rights had the move not collapsed.
Contact between Messi and Chelsea first began in January 2014, with a meeting set up between the attacker and Mourinho via a FaceTime call.
That reported encounter went well, but Chelsea’s move for Cesc Fabregas scuppered the move for Messi when the midfielder warned Deco, who in turn informed Jorge Messi of the potential deal.
Messi’s father was so angry at being cut out of the negotiations that the move then collapsed, despite personal terms having been agreed.
Messi went on to score 58 goals as Barcelona won the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
Abramovich has now been handed a reprieve and will be able to complete the move for a virtual cut-price fee.
Any move for Messi would appear to scupper the potential deal for Lukaku, though the prospect of seeing the superstar at Stamford Bridge would arguably excite fans more than the Inter striker.