During tense negotiations last summer, Messi wanted to see big signs of growth from the club.
We gained some insights into the tense negotiations between Lionel Messi and Barcelona last summer when club and player tried to reach a new agreement for him to stay. The talks infamously fell through, and now Messi is a PSG player.
However, a certain condition Messi set for him staying at Barcelona will be of interest to Liverpool. According to reports, Messi placed the club signing Sadio Mané as imperative. He wanted to see proof that the club had ambition and could still bring in top players, despite their money troubles. Messi himself was willing to take a pay cut if he had reassurance that the team was headed down the right path.
Según SER Catalunya, Lionel Messi puso como una de sus condiciones para su continuidad en el FC Barcelona la contratación de Sadio Mané. @ESPN_JorgeRamos
— Jorge Ramos (@JorgeRamosFUT) February 7, 2022
Mané, who just scored the decisive penalty to help Senegal win the African Cup of Nations, is a player whose consistently strong performances over several seasons have earned him the respect of the entire football community. Apparently Messi rates him high enough to have made his signing a dealbreaker.
While Barcelona contacted Liverpool about the possibility last summer, talks went nowhere, along with Mané. The winger remains a Liverpool player, and has continued to prove his importance to the team in each game he plays.