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La Liga president Javier Tebas gives his verdict on Manchester City prospects of signing Lionel Messi.

La Liga president Javier Tebas gives his verdict on Manchester City prospects of signing Lionel Messi.

Javier Tebas has renewed his war of words against Manchester City by informing them that Lionel Messi will not join them this summer from Barcelona.

La Liga president Tebas, a long-standing doubter of City’s financial model, became entangled in a public row this week after Pep Guardiola criticized his running of the Spanish league.

That wasn’t the first incident Tebas has called out City, and he was a big fan of UEFA’s decision to charge the club for ‘serious breaches’ of Financial Fair Play laws.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed the decision after City appealed.

Now, Tebas has revived his denunciations as he was asked about the prospects of Messi remaining in Spain.

Messi is out of contract at Barcelona and in discussions for a new deal. However, Barcelona are in crisis financially, and Tebas established they must save four euros for every euro spent.

They have allowed several fringe players to leave, and are looking at decreasing the wage bill further.

It has been stated this week that they cannot register any new players – including Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and even Messi – until they show they have lessened their debt.


Tebas, speaking to UK media (via ESPN), stated he believes Messi is ‘closer’ to re-signing for Barcelona but doesn’t know if he would be registered in time for the start of the new La Liga term.

And when examining the possibilities of City signing Messi, Tebas didn’t need much motivation to criticize the club yet again.

“He won’t be able to sign on the previous conditions, that’s impossible,” Tebas said.

“But I don’t think any European club would be able to pay that amount.

“City have lost €270m [during the pandemic] so obviously they wouldn’t even consider signing Messi [on his previous salary]. PSG have had losses, too, so they can’t even consider signing Messi [for that much].”

Tebas then went further, saying if City did find the funds to sign Messi, it would amount to ‘financial doping’, as he said owners funding in their clubs as City do is ruining the football ecosystem.

He continued: “If they do, it will be financial doping. It would be incredible if it happened. We need to establish limits. Financial doping is damaging football.

“It’s not real money because it’s not generated by the clubs. Money not from football causes bad inflation and ruins football because clubs must put in all this effort [to compete], which takes them above their financial capacity.

“We have to fight against this. This is one of the pending issues in European football. If it’s not solved, the game will find itself in a very complicated situation.

“We always want the best players, but Neymar left, Cristiano Ronaldo left and we’re still here, still growing. And as far as I know neither Serie A nor Ligue 1 have grown as much as they would have liked.

“When the Italian [league] took Ronaldo, they said to me broadcast rights would go up. They have just lost €200m on international television rights and on a national level it’s 10% down. I would be sorry if Messi left, he’s the best ever, but we should not become obsessed with [individual] players.”

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La Liga president Javier Tebas gives his verdict on Manchester City prospects of signing Lionel Messi.

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