Speculation continues to mount surrounding Lionel Messi’s increasing disenchantment at Barcelona, with the Sun reporting that the Argentine sorcerer has told suitors he’d be willing to join any of them…for just £500m.
In the new age of Financial Fair Play, the amount of clubs capable of forking out such a wedge for one man are few and far between, but it is believed Chelsea are among them.
Disillusioned at the Nou Camp, Messi, the man with 378 goals in 449 appearances for Los Blaugrana, would be keen on the switch and if the Blues were to succumb to the demands, the frenzy such a transfer would stir would be groundbreaking.
But is it necessary for the Blues to sign the four-time Ballon d’Or winner?
The short answer is a simple one: no.
Sitting atop the Premier League, in the Capital One Cup semi-final and Champions League knockout stages, Jose Mourinho’s side is clearly a sufficiently capable one.
Messi’s arrival may improve them, but not to in proportion with the money they’d have to pay to get him.
The Stamford Bridge outfit have scored 44 goals in 20 league matches – how much better can they get in the final third?
Then, in order to meet UEFA’s financial regulations, a few key assets would have to be sold, lest sanctions would be incurred.
At least three first-team staples would have to go, which would obviously devastate the balance of the side, as well as compromising their quality.
Replacements would then need to be found, though they wouldn’t be of the same standard, as the Blues would be forced to source them in a state of austerity.
With fantastic players in every department, Chelsea are a dictionary definition world-class team.
Bringing Messi in would also necessitate a change of style, for he couldn’t play a Diego Costa line-leading role.
Similarly, the onus would shift from being group-focused to hinge around the World Cup Golden Ball winner.
Furthermore, when Roman Abramovich has taken it upon himself to procure a marquee player for his club in the past, the results haven’t been favourable.
Andriy Shevchenko flopped in spectacular fashion after a £32m move from AC Milan, while £50m acquisition Fernando Torres wasn’t much better.