The on-going level of speculation linking Lionel Messi with a move away from Barcelona has drawn a response from the Spanish club’s president.
Josep Maria Bartomeu is quoted by Sky Sports as saying the following:
“The possibility of Messi moving keeps coming up, but we haven’t considered it.
“He’s very happy here and we’ll have Messi for many years. I hope he’ll retire at our club.”
Despite being linked with super-rich admirers such as Chelsea, Paris Saint-German and Manchester City, the uber-decorated Argentine is as long as 15/4 to have left Camp Nou by the end of 2015’s summer transfer window.
If that wager is to come home to roost it’s a certainty that an astronomical fee will change hands, but just how much would signing him cost exactly? Let’s work it out…
Firstly the ceiling for any deal is the €250m buyout clause in his present contract, or £195,682,578.18 at the current exchange rate.
However, with that sum still more than double the world record transfer fee of £85.3m paid for Gareth Bale, it’s unlikely any buyer would pay as much for him next summer.
German transfer information archive Transfermarkt currently values Messi at £105.6m and this seems a more realistic assessment of the kind of fee he might command.
Another factor in any deal would be Messi’s age – 28 next summer – with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, the previous and current world record transfers, significantly younger when making their moves.
Moreover at the age of 27, Luis Suarez (one of the planet’s most desirable forwards on the market this summer) sold for just £65m despite having inked a new four-year deal just the previous December.
Admittedly, the controversy the Uruguayan courted earlier in the off-season arguably knocked a few shillings off his price, but nonetheless he is not a player of £20m less ability than Bale, suggesting age too may well have played a part.
As such it’s difficult to imagine Messi going for an amount that dwarfs the current world transfer world record – in spite of the deal that ties him to Catalunya until 2018 – and the transfermarkt valuation of circa £100m seems about right.