The Lionel Messi decision that could be bad news for Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel’s transfer plans – Football.London

Chelsea’s hopes of signing Barcelona attacker Antoine Griezmann this summer may have hit an unwanted bump in the road.

That is because, according to Spanish news outlet Diario Sport, Argentine sensation Lionel Messi has agreed to take a massive 50 per cent pay cut to remain with the La Liga heavyweights.

Messi’s contract at the Nou Camp ran out on June 30, but the club and the forward were always keen to come to an agreement over a new deal that would see him stay in Spain.

However, with Barcelona currently finding themselves in the midst of a financial crisis, there was always a sense of concern surrounding the club’s hopes of keeping hold of their star asset, even though, deep down, it always seemed likely that an agreement would be reached in some capacity.

Nevertheless, it is now reported that such an agreement has been reached, but it comes as a result of Messi being willing to reduce his wage by half, highlighting just how committed he is to the club and how much he wishes to stay with the European giants. It is claimed that the attacker, who helped Argentina win the Copa America over the weekend, understands just how badly affected Barcelona have been during the pandemic in regards to their financial situation and he wanted to set a good example to the rest of the squad.

But whilst Messi has all but agreed to sign a new deal, handing Barcelona a huge boost ahead of the start of the 2021/22 campaign, this may not turn out to be such good news for Chelsea and head coach Thomas Tuchel.

That is because, according to reports in Spain earlier this week, the Blues are keen on strengthening their attacking ranks with the signing of Griezmann on a season long-loan. Barcelona are eager to send the France international out on loan for the duration of the season in a bid to reduce the size of their weekly wage bill. However, the news of Messi agreeing to slash his income by half could mean that the La Liga club are not in such a rush to send Griezmann elsewhere.

It was reported that the club who would sign him, should he leave the Nou Camp, would be responsible for paying the full percentage of his wage.

As well as that, it was claimed the Blues had been the ‘most active in recent days’ in regards to trying to land the former Atletico Madrid man and saw the possibility of signing him on loan as ‘very favourable’.

But now that Messi has agreed a deal in principle to stay in Spain and massively reduce his salary, it could mean that Barcelona are not in such desperate need to offload Griezmann, meaning Chelsea’s hopes of landing him this summer may have now been massively reduced.

However, Chelsea are still intent on trying to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland this summer as their number one priority, meaning the prospect of Barcelona now blocking any approaches for Griezmann may not be such a blow to their transfer plans.

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