Marca have an article today which seems designed to point out to the world just how much Lionel Messi is being paid on his new contract. To do so, they’ve brought Manchester City into the picture, and it’s explained the Premier League club played a big part in Messi’s renewal.

Manchester City offered Messi a €100m signing on fee, if he arrived on a free transfer in the summer, and a salary of €50m per year after tax, claim Marca.

It’s stated that in the past, Manchester City’s efforts for Messi weren’t completely serious, and were more half hopeful attempts, Marca state it was different this time, and the intentions were very real, regardless of what Pep Guardiola may say publicly.

The effort was so serious, that Barcelona ‘had to match the amounts of Sheikh Mansour’, explain Marca. Barcelona have given Messi ‘three contracts in one’ according to the claims, and have made up €50m a year across his wage, image rights, payments to the Messi Foundation, and other avenues.

Messi’s entourage felt they could ask for more given Neymar’s huge PSG package, and the Manchester City offer.

Marca is of course traditionally Real Madrid leaning, although not as biased as the Catalan media, so they’d like to talk up the figures.

Whether Manchester City are simply a prop used by Marca, or indeed by Messi, or their efforts really were so concrete, is in the eye of the beholder.