Hebei China Fortune are attempting to hijack Barcelona’s negotiations over Lionel Messi’s new contract according to various media reports.
Sky Sports and Diario AS both claim the Chinese club, now coached by former Real Madrid and Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini, are prepared to offer the Argentine superstar an incredible €500m a year after tax.
Despite being founded only six years ago, they have offered eye-watering sums to secure the services of Pellegrini along with star players Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gervinho along with former Sevilla midfielders Gael Kakuta and Stephane M’Bia, to secure their status amongst the country’s leading clubs.
Messi’s future has been under scrutiny recently after Marca published a report in November that he had been offered a new deal at Barca in the summer but he had decided to wait until the end of the season before committing to any new contract.
However, AS and Mundo Deportivo both report the Blaugrana are confident of agreeing a new deal with the 29-year-old in the wake of securing the long-term futures of Luis Suarez and Neymar, among others.
AS go on to say that the Catalans will offer €35m a year net – a fraction of the offer from Asia – to tie the Argentine down.