Champions League winners Bayern Munich will not be making a move for wantaway Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to the club’s chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Messi sent shockwaves throughout the world of football on Tuesday after telling Barcelona, via fax, that he wants to leave on a free transfer this summer.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is now sensationally searching for a new chapter in his illustrious career, having scored an astonishing 634 goals and creating 285 assists in 731 appearances for Barcelona.
But Rummenigge – who saw his Bayern side humiliate Barcelona 8-2 in what is likely to have been Messi’s last game for the club – has insisted that the German giants do not have the spending power to acquire his signature before claiming it is ‘sad’ that he is leaving the Nou Camp.
When asked by Tuttosport if Bayern will join the race to sign Messi, he emphatically replied: ‘No’
Explaining why not, Rummenigge added: ‘We can’t pay a player of that size. It is not part of our policy and philosophy.
‘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.’
With Barcelona, Messi’s fixed salary totals £64m (€71m) but bonuses for signing, for staying, and for winning trophies takes the figure well above that. Just by playing 60 per cent of games until the 2021 date when his contract ends sees Messi earn on average £95m (€106m) a season. But the potential – if he were to win the treble and win FIFA’s player of the year award – exists to push the final figure over the £110m (€122m) mark.’
While Bayern have distanced themselves from making a move for Messi, Sportsmail revealed that he could reunite with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City if his contract stand-off with Barcelona can be resolved.
But City must tread carefully to pull off the spectacular signing of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The 33-year-old Argentina superstar believes he is now a free agent but Barcelona insist he is tied to the club for another year and with a £629million release clause.
The last contract that Messi signed in 2017 allowed him to leave on a free transfer at the end of every season providing he gave notice of his intention to do so in the first 10 days of June.
When there was no news from Messi during the first 10 days of June this year, the club took it that the deadline had passed and he was now tied to another year at the club.
But Messi has a different interpretation. If his contract allows him to leave on a free at the end of every season, and this season did not end until August, then he believes he can go for nothing now, providing he informs the club – which he did do by sending the burofax on Tuesday.