Star signing rejected summer offer from Chelsea

Lionel Messi Barcelona striker

Lionel Messi rejected a sensational offer to join Chelsea in the summer, according to the Daily Star.

Reports in Spain suggest the Argentine superstar was the subject of three bids from the West London club, one of which met his release clause of €250m (£210m).

The bid was reportedly backed by Adidas, who offered to pay half the fee in order for Messi to move to a club they supply with shirt deals.

But Messi is said to have rejected all three bids out of hand, and refused to even listen to the proposals sent through by Barcelona’s director of football, Raul Sanllehi.

Messi is currently suffering from his longest goal drought since April 2011 – he has gone four games without scoring for the Spanish champions.

But Barca boss Gerardo Martino remains delighted with his star man, claiming his value to the team is not simply measured in the number of goals he scores.

“I continue to think the same about him,” Martino said.

“It is difficult to do an individual analysis of a player in every single game, but Leo continues to be the most important player in a team replete with important figures.

“His manner of playing still offers us a huge amount and if the team continues to win you will see the best of our best players shortly.”

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