Barcelona Previously Turned Down £225 Million For Lionel Messi


Lionel Messi might be the greatest free signing in the history of football but 15 years ago he could have broken the record for most expensive signing, by four times the previous record.

Messi’s move to PSG is still quite hard to come to terms with, after 21 years where it seemed he would never leave Barcelona.

Journalists in Paris are already used to the idea clearly, as they became fanboys after his press conference on Wednesday and started chanting the forward’s name.

However, we could have been long used to Messi playing for someone other than Barcelona, if a move to Inter Milan had happened in 2006.

According to Barca president, speaking earlier this year, he turned down a £225 million move from the Serie A team in his previous stint as the club’s chief.

“Nobody who loves Barcelona can have doubts about Messi,” Laporta told Radio Onda Cero in April, in one of the most badly aged statements ever.

“We rejected a £225m offer coming from Inter in 2006. [Massimo] Moratti wanted to bring him to his club.”

What if Messi had been in the blue and black of Inter for 15 years? Image: PA Images

That bid at the time wouldn’t have just broken the world record for the highest transfer fee in football but it would have actually quadrupled the previous mark.

Zinedine Zidane’s move to Real Madrid, from Juventus, in 2001 was still the record at the time, costing Los Blancos £46.6 million, during the first Galactico era.

The fee from Moratti was so large that it still would have stood as the world’s largest transfer fee ever.

Neymar’s move from La Liga to Paris cost the Ligue 1 giants an incredible £198 million, or 220 million euros, and doesn’t look like it’ll be beaten any time soon.

Zidane’s move to Real Madrid was the most expensive transfer for eight years, when Real signed Kaka. Image: PA Images

Inter certainly aren’t in a position to have been able to even offer Messi a contract after he left the Nou Camp, and before he joined PSG.

The Serie A champions are in serious financial problems and that’s why they’ve not been able to turn down Chelsea’s move for Romelu Lukaku, despite the striker wanting to stay.

Lukaku’s move has not gone down well with fans, who defaced a mural of the Belgian which celebrated last season’s title win.

Featured Image Credit: PA