Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has categorically ruled out an audacious bid to sign Barcelona icon Lionel Messi – and believes free-spending Chelsea could be the exception in this summer’s market.
Messi, 33, sent shockwaves around the world of football by handing in a transfer request at Barcelona earlier this week.
The Catalan giants failed to win a single piece of silverware across the 2019/20 campaign and the season ended in miserable fashion as they crashed out of the Champions League in a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.
Messi’s camp have informed Barcelona that they plan to exercise a clause in the forward’s contract which could see him leave for free after nearly two decades of service at the club.
Barca are adamant this clause has expired – and will only allow a transfer if Messi’s €700million release clause is met – but the Argentine’s team believe it’s still valid due to the extension of the season caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are all closely monitoring the situation but it’s clear Bayern will not be in the race for the legendary attacker this summer.
‘No, we can’t pay a player of that size. It is not part of our policy and philosophy,’ Bayern chief Rummenigge told Tuttosport.
‘Honestly, hearing that Messi could leave Barcelona makes me a little sad. Leo has written the history of that club and in my opinion he should end his career with the Blaugrana.
‘There are internal and private aspects there that I don’t know about and that is why I will not interfere.’
Chelsea have set out their stall in the wake of their two window-transfer ban – signing Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell already this summer – and Rummenigge was keen to stress that Bayern would be unable to compete with that sort of spending power.
Asked why the likes of PSG and Man City could potentially fund a move for Messi and not Bayern, he replied: ‘I’m not bluffing, I don’t really know.
‘For me it would be like playing the lottery. There is very little money around.
‘It’s true, Chelsea have already spent 250 million, but they have just returned from two transfer windows that saw them spend no money due to an embargo.
‘At the time of the coronavirus pandemic it is not easy for any company. A rich owner is not enough. He must be very rich.’
Bayern forward Thomas Muller also played down speculation that Messi could be set for a sensational switch to the Allianz Arena.
‘I’ve spoken to our chief financial officer once or twice in the past few months,’ he said when asked about a possible move for Messi.
‘I think that’s unrealistic.’
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