With a £210m buy-out clause, the adoration of Catalonia and free reign within one of the best club teams in the world, it seems unlikely that Lionel Messi would move away from Barcelona at this stage of his career.
However, according to Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo (translated by The Daily Mail's Pete Jenson) the Argentinean superstar nearly made a move to one of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Chelsea over the summer.
Messi's sponsor Adidas were keen to see him play in a shirt which they manufacture, and were reportedly willing to pay up to half of his buy-out clause for the privilege.
Such a move is not entirely out of the question—Madrid once pulled off the transfer of Luis Figo from Barca at an unlikely time—but it would have been extremely surprising.
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