Chelsea's £210m Messi bid: A PR stunt that could backfire for the club

Reports have linked Chelsea with attempting a mega-move for Lionel Messi. But could they end up regretting it?

A sensational transfer move, or just a PR stunt?

Our view is the latter, but either way Chelsea's supposed move for Barcelona's Lionel Messi could backfire for themselves.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported that Chelsea were going to front up half the fee themselves, with Adidas willing to pay the rest themselves - to bring the world's best footballer under a club they manufacture shirts for, rather than Nike's Barcelona.

Messi's buyout clause stands at £210 million, but is said to have hit the buffers when both parties were told clearly that the player had no interest in making the move.

So how could it backfire?

Simple, despite the scepticism, it has served to increase expectation and demonstrate Chelsea's financial capability.

There can be no matching Lionel Messi, but put it this way, fans won't suddenly settle for another Demba Ba type being signed as the club's next striker instead.

A big name like a Robert Lewandowski will be expected, with the club showing such ambition as to try to attract the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Such a move also draws questions over Chelsea's transfer decisions in the summer. Why did they allow themselves to be outbid for superstar strikers Falcao and Edinson Cavani by super-rich French clubs PSG and Monaco when they were apparently ready to commit even more for Lionel Messi?

We of course appreciate that Messi is an exceptional case, and if there was a chance of getting him then naturally they should investigate going all out, but we wonder what it may mean for their next striker pursuit.

Jose Mourinho is ambitious and will be striving to sign the best available, but suddenly anything less will seem now like a downgrade. 

A PR stunt, probably, but if it serves to increase expectation on the club's transfer policy by aiming for an unattainable target, it doesn't look too clever, just ask Manchester United fans who were promised Cristiano Ronaldo and ended up with Marouane Fellaini.

image: © dundasfc

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