Chelsea would need to sell £150m-worth of players to be able to comply with UEFA’s financial regulations and buy Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, says Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
Questions have been raised in recent weeks about Messi’s future at Camp Nou, especially following the player’s alleged falling out with Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.
And those doubts only increased when Messi then started following Chelsea on Instagram.
But any club hoping to prize away Messi would need to find more than £450m to meet the player’s buy-out clause and tax in his contract, as well as his exorbitant salary.
According to Balague, under Financial Fair Play Regulations, Jose Mourinho would need to sell players to the tune of €200m (£150m) in order to bring Messi to Stamford Bridge.
“For Chelsea to actually be able to bring Messi and pay for it, they would have to sell the players they have got for a value of €200m,” he said on Revista de la Liga.
“So you are selling (Diego) Costa, (Eden) Hazard and (Cesc) Fabregas and you are bringing Messi.
“But even that way, FIFA will look at it and think: ‘You are selling six guys and bringing in just one. That is not right.’ And it will be questioned. So it is very difficult.”
Former Barcelona executive and current football finance expert Esteve Calzade also thinks there are only a handful of clubs in the world capable of affording the Argentina star.
“Everything could happen in football,” he said. “But obviously with the new regulations it only comes down to a very short list of teams. It is not enough to just have a wealthy investor.
“With FFP in place it needs to be a team that can prove they can generate revenues to pay for the cost of the deal, which is a lot of money.
“So if we are talking only about the teams that have made a profit in the last season, then we are talking about Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea,
Manchester City, who are on their way to break even and generate a profit.”