Chelsea Transfer News: Potential Lionel Messi Deal Would Be Wrong for Blues

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2014

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates with teammates scoring his side's 4th goal during a Champions League Group F soccer match between APOEL and FC Barcelona at GSP stadium, in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Petros Karadjias/Associated Press

There is always an element of make-believe when Lionel Messi's name is linked with any football club besides Barcelona.

However, reports now suggest that the Argentina captain's time at the Camp Nou could finally be coming to a close with the news that Messi is keen on a potential transfer to Chelsea.

Tony Banks of the Daily Express writes the South American legend has ambitions to play in the Premier League and join his close friend Cesc Fabregas in London.

Banks says Chelsea's principal sponsor, Adidas, will be heavily involved in any potential deal, looking to snatch one of Nike's biggest names from its roster.

Barcelona have placed a huge £200 million price tag on the attacker's head to ward off potential suitors, but Adidas' direct involvement would help the Blues meet any valuations, per Banks.

The journalist also says Messi has already started to learn English to help his transition into Premier League life and feels that his son will gain a better education in the capital city, placing Chelsea as the front-runners in his affections.

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However, Jose Mourinho has moved fast to dispel any rumours surrounding a potential move for the wizard, as reported by Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC. The Special One poured cold water on any idea he would try and sign Messi in the near future:

My reaction is that your world changed so much that our world also changed so much. And I think, in this moment, it's so easy, so easy to have non-truths circulating.

It's so easy that some people put news without confirming or speaks about rumours. Obviously it's not true [Messi to Chelsea]. Obviously it's not true.

Jon Super/Associated Press

At this time, it is highly unlikely Mourinho would reveal his cards and admit he would want Messi, but the bigger question is if the multiple Ballon d'Or winner would be worth the money or effort? 

The quoted £200 million price is beyond absurd for an individual, especially when we are still yet to witness the first £100 million footballer.

But the economics involved here are not the biggest stumbling point despite the presence of Financial Fair Play. Would Barca allow potentially the greatest player in history to leave the club when he still has so much left to give? Would their political structure allow this to happen?

One reason why Chelsea could win the battle for Messi is Roman Abramovich's keen interest in collecting world-renowned art.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich smiles during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge on August 18, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Messi would be the biggest purchase in the history of football, and Chelsea's owner would be motivated to add him to his collection. The Russian has always craved to have the most skilful players on the planet at his club, and Messi certainly tops this category. 

The pull of London also helps the Stamford Bridge team over their northern rivals, and the Fabregas connection could be the tipping point for an individual who has only lived in Spain since he was a boy.

Gabriele Marcotti of ESPN FC recently gave his thoughts on whether Messi would make the jump away from La Liga and was cautious in his personal assessments:

There may come a time when Messi moves on. Heck, Messi's rise was itself facilitated when the club allowed Ronaldinho to move on—the guy who, at the time, was the best player in the world. Who's to say if, in a few years, Neymar reaches Messi-esque proportions, the club might not make a similar decision?

But all that is in the future. Right now, he's here and he's making history. Let's appreciate it for what it is and for what he does on the pitch. We'll miss it when he's gone.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 22:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with his teammates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou on November 22, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Lionel Mess
David Ramos/Getty Images

Marcotti is correct to say that Messi may need a new challenge one day, but it is difficult to gauge when that time will be. He has not appeared his happiest in the past few seasons, with Barcelona ploughing through management teams at an unnatural rate.

But Chelsea would give the Argentine the platform he craves in the league competition that is considered the sport's most challenging. A move to West London would also not hinder the player's Champions League ambitions.

However, for £200 million, Messi is not worth it. Mourinho has been shrewd during his 18 months back in charge at the Bridge, and he has created this current team with a modicum of patience.

Chelsea have gone from also-rans in the league to title favourites in a very short period, and the focus will now be to stay ahead of Manchester City, possibly the only other team who could afford Messi.

Messi will probably leave Barcelona one day, but maybe Paris is a more likely destination for his talents and bank accounts.