Chelsea fans, Lionel Messi came very close to joining the club – albeit back in 2004, as it’s been reported that under then manager Jose Mourinho a phone call nearly sealed the deal.
Messi at the time was 16 and had a choice to move or stay on in Spain, and he of course went on to choose the latter, but it was the influence of Jose Mourinho that took it to the brink after a ‘long phone call’.
Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio via the Sun made the claim and whether it was the lure of Mourinho or a move to west London at the time, we’ll probably never know.
It was well documented in the summer that Lionel Messi wanted to leave Barcelona, but with a year left on his contract and a mammoth release clause, the Argentine has committed to what looks like one final season.
Would Chelsea be tempted to swoop on a then 34-year-old Messi, 17 years after their initial attempt?