BARCELONA turned down a £225million offer from Inter Milan for Lionel Messi in 2006, according to their former club president Joan Laporta.
The Catalan politician was the club’s boss from 2003 to 2010 before returning last year.
And Laporta, 59, was asked about the future of hapless talisman Lionel Messi – leading to a stunning admission.
He told Radio Onda Cero in April: “No one who loves Barcelona can doubt Messi.
“We turned down a £225m offer from Inter in 2006. [Massimo] Moratti wanted to bring him to his club.”
The offer eclipsed the then-world transfer record, then the £46.6m Real Madrid paid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.
Back then, Inter had just won Serie A, inspired by the likes of Javier Zanetti, Adriano and Luis Figo – while Messi had clinched his first Champions League medal with Barca.
The Argentine, now 34, has recorded three more – but not since 2015.
Ultimately, Barcelona lost his talisman for nothing when he left for Paris Saint-Germain after his contract expired before the start of last season.
And former club figure Jaume Llopis has hammered Laporta for his handling of the Messi and CVC investment saga.
The former Espai Barca member told Cadena SER: “The first contract was not accepted because, according to Laporta, it meant pawning Barcelona’s TV rights for the next 50 years.
“But CVC was willing to negotiate. And they didn’t negotiate either.
“Laporta was convinced by Ferran Reverter, the new CEO, that it was not possible to sign with CVC and by Florentino Perez on the European Super League project.
“It also happens that Ferran Reverter has a long-standing friendship with Florentino Perez and they have convinced him and Laporta to radically change his mind and refuse to negotiate any further.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/1886292/lionel-messi-barcelona-inter-milan/ Barcelona received a £225m offer for Messi from Inter in 2006 – more than QUADRUBLE the then world-record transfer fee