Lionel Messi reportedly wants almost $35 million per year from Barca

Lionel Messi reportedly wants almost $35 million per year from Barca

Published Mar. 20, 2014 1:28 p.m. ET

Lionel Messi wants his salary to reflect his status as FC Barcelona’s greatest-ever player.

Messi is negotiating a new contract with Barcelona, and Spanish newspaper AS reported Tuesday that he’s demanding €25 million ($34.6 million/£21 million) per year for five years — after taxes.

Messi’s desire for a new deal (his seventh since 2005) reportedly stems from Barcelona’s recruitment of Neymar last summer. Neymar joined the club in a complicated and expensive transfer, which effectively made the Brazilian forward Barcelona’s highest-paid player with an annual salary of €18 million to €20 million ($25 million to $28 million/£15 million to £16.7 million).

A scandal surrounding the Neymar transfer brought down former team president Sandro Rosell, and Messi is believed to be upset about his own place on Barcelona’s payroll.

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Messi currently earns around €10.7 million ($14.75 million/£8.9 million), but he is looking to make more than twice that amount under new terms. The two parties might not come to an agreement, as Barcelona would have to spend around €250 million ($348 million/£209 million) to satisfy Messi’s demands.

The club would pay Messi a gross salary of €50 million ($69 million/£42 million) each year, but he would take home half that amount because of the Spanish tax code.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be monitoring Messi’s contract negotiations, with an eye toward making a transfer bid if there is a breakdown in talks.

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