LaLiga president Javier Tebas says Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain would be committing “financial doping” if they signed Lionel Messi on similar terms to his previous Barcelona deal.
Argentina captain Messi is a free agent after his Barca contract expired at the end of June.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been linked with City and PSG previously, though he is expected to remain with the Blaugrana despite their financial problems.
Tebas does not see how any club would be able to offer Messi the sort of terms he had been earning, with his last contract reportedly worth in excess of €500million over four years.
Asked if Messi would have to take a pay cut to extend his stay at Barca, Tebas said: “Exactly. He won’t be able to sign on the previous conditions, that’s impossible.
“But I don’t think any European club would be able to pay that amount.”
Tebas added: “City have lost €270m [during the coronavirus pandemic] so obviously they wouldn’t even consider signing Messi [on the terms he was previously on].
“PSG have had losses, too, so they can’t even consider signing Messi.
“If they do, it will be financial doping. It would be incredible if it happened. We need to establish limits. Financial doping is damaging football.
“It’s not real money because it’s not generated by the clubs. Money not from football causes bad inflation and ruins football because clubs must put in all this effort [to compete], which takes them above their financial capacity.
“We have to fight against this. This is one of the pending issues in European football. If it’s not solved, the game will find itself in a very complicated situation.”