Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City can afford Lionel Messi

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Talk of Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona just won’t go away.

After rumors linked Messi with a move to Chelsea last week the Argentine international claimed he would not leave Barca, but just 24 hours after quashing those reports he stated  he “didn’t know where he would be” next season.

[ RELATED: Messi casts doubt over Barca future ]

Of course, there’s plenty of reading between the lines as to the 27-year-old’s future at the Nou Camp where he has become the five-time World Player of the Year and the all-time leading goalscorer in La Liga history.

[ PHOTO: Ronaldo to wear diamond boots ]

Now, it is time to try and unravel Manuel Pellegrini’s cautious comments surrounding Manchester City being linked with a move for Messi. The Sun newspaper and plenty of other outlets in England claim that City can afford Messi, but here’s what Pellegrini actually had to say when asked about the rumors.

“It is normal that clubs with the capacity to buy are linked with the best players on the market,” Pellegrini said. “Often these rumors come from personal interests, and not from the club. There is nothing in that way concrete in this case.”

So, yes, Pellegrini did seem to back up the notion that City are able to pay a $300 million transfer fee plus Messi’s wages of over $25 million per year. But, he did also state that the rumors are coming from elsewhere and there’s nothing concrete in them.  With the Financial Fair Play rules clearly not hindering City’s spending power after they just splashed out $42 million on Swansea’s Wilfried Bony in the January transfer window, Pellegrini obviously knows something we do not in regards to the Citizens potential spending power.

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Senor Pellegrini, is that a tiny little carrot you’re danging in front of Messi’s face there? Oh, it is. Carry on.