Posted by News Express | 28 December 2012 | 4,174 times
An attempt to lure world’s best footballer Lionel Messi out of Barcelona with more than double the world transfer record has failed, underlining his determination to spend all his playing life at the Spanish club.
An unnamed Russian club triggered Lionel Messi’s automatic release clause with a staggering 250 million euro (about N51.25 billion naira) bid for the three-time World Footballer of the Year but he flatly rejected the offer, according to Spanish sports daily El Mundo Deportivo.
The paper said the club, believed to be Anzhi Makachkala owned by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov, agreed to pay more than double the world record transfer fee, and offered the Argentine a €30m (about N6.1b) annual pay packet after tax. Anzhi had last year signed former Barça striker Samuel Eto’o, making him the highest-paid player in world football. Going by a clause in Messi’s contract, Barcelona was bound to accept the €205m if accepted by Messi. The 25-year-old goal machine however rejected the offer which came during his recent contract negotiations with Barcelona and opted to sign a two-year extension with Barça that ties him to the Camp Nou until 2018.
El Mundo Deportivo said Messi rejected the Russian move because of his desire to continue winning titles at Barcelona, where he has scored a record 91 goals this year and is expected to win his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or.
Messi (shown in photo) presently earns £27m (about N6.75b) per year, topping up his £13m (about N3.25b) salary with sponsorships and endorsements.
Every player in Spanish football must have a minimum fee release clause in their contract. Cristiano Ronaldo’s is the highest, standing at €1bn (about N205b).
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