Lionel Messi asked Cesc Fabregas about joining Arsenal before signing new Barcelona deal [Vozpopuli]

Lionel Messi’s contract situation was the subject of all sorts of speculation last season, with various sections of the Spanish media saying the four-time Ballon D’or was engineering a move away from the Camp Nou.

Messi eventually signed a new deal at the end of the season, just before jetting off to the World Cup, which cements his future to Barcelona, but Spanish site Vozpopuli claim the Argentine would have left were it not for his exorbitant price tag and wages.

Vozpopuli come with the pretty incredible story (which seems a bit opportunistic: how has it only come out now?), claiming that Messi asked his then-teammate Cesc Fabregas to ask Arsenal if they’d be interested in signing him (as if Cesc could just get on the blower to Wenger and ask him that).

Vozpopuli claim that Fabregas did as his friend asked, and had his agent sound out Arsenal (sounds like a game of Extreme Chinese Whispers).

The response from the Gunners hierarchy was apparently along the lines of ‘We’d love to, but…’, with Messi’s astronomical 250m Euro buy-out clause a pretty big obstacle (for any club for that matter).

Vozpopuli finish with the claim that Messi’s contract extension was a glorified stunt designed to help him pay of the Spanish tax office, who he owed some 30 million euro to.

Not exactly a bastion of reliable information (I had to double check that this wasn’t satire), and with just 10,000 Facebook likes to its name , this story from Vozpopuli is probably best taken with a large pinch of salt.