After winning the La Liga and Copa del Rey with Barcelona in the 2015/16 season, the summer of 2016 was a disappointment for Lionel Messi, both on and off the field.
He was a part of Argentina’s squad that lost the Copa América Centenario final to Chile and the forward failed to convert during the penalty shootout in the same match.
The 31-year-old had announced his retirement from international football, only to return several months later. A few days later, he and his father were sentenced for tax fraud.
Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims after the trial, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, considered to leave Spain and for that, he has to leave the Blaugrana.
This is when Jorge was involved and after analysing several options, he decided it was best to take his son to Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola took charge at the Etihad the same summer and he has maintained a good relationship with Lionel, having previously managed him at Barca.
The player’s camp got in touch with City’s CEO Ferran Soriano and sporting director Txiki Begiristain to express the star’s situation in Spain.
Mundo mentions Soriano has always made it clear that he will not make an approach for Messi, until he himself offers to the Premier League side.
The report claims the South American player’s environment did contract Manchester City, but the talks did not go to the stage where they could discuss the figures of the deal, as reported elsewhere. Even Guardiola denied these claims in his press conference on Friday.
Eventually, Messi changed his mind and a year later signed a contract extension which will now keep him at the club until 2021.