Barcelona megastar Lionel Messi is a 250million euro (£205m) target for an unidentified Russian club, according to a report from Spain.
The astronomical offer, which would have more than doubled the current world record transfer fee, triggered Messi’s automatic release clause – meaning Barca were contractually obliged to accept it.
However, the bid, which would also have seen the club paying Messi a salary of £24m a year – £461,000 per week – AFTER tax, obviously did not interest the player.
The approach came during negotiations that ended earlier this month with the Argentinian signing a two-year contract extension at the Nou Camp.
While the story in El Mundo Deportivo, a Spanish sports daily, does not name the Russian club,billionaire-owned Anzhi Makhachkala are felt to be the likeliest candidates.
Anzhi made ex-Barca striker Samuel Eto’o the game’s highest paid player when they signed him last year.
Messi, 25, has won the Ballon d’Or, awarded annually to the world’s best player for two years in a row and is widely tipped to make it three on the spin.
He also set a football record that may never be broken in 2012, scoring 91 times for club and country in the calendar year.
Culled from Mirror.co.uk