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Messi agrees record deal with City group

Lionel Messi has agreed a five-year deal with the City Football Group that will see him become the highest paid individual in the history of football.

That will see him earn €700 million (£523 million) over a five-year period, the first three of which will be spent at Manchester City, and the latter two at their sister company, the MLS franchise New York City.

That will enable to Abu Dhabi owners to maximise their earnings and sponsorship income from the current world footballer of the year.

His departure from Barcelona still has to be negotiated, with La Liga insisting that his €700 million release clause must be met. However, Messi has refused to return for pre-season training and Covid-19 testing at the Catalan club, and seems determined to leave the club he joined as a teenager.

With neither side showing either signs of compromise at the moment, this messy divorce may drag on for weeks longer yet.

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