Messi has been with Barcelona since 2001 and has previously said he wants to retire with the Catalan club but a probe into an alleged £3m tax fraud, said to have been organised by his father Jorge, has soured Messi's love affair with Spain.

The 28-year-old Argentina ace is understood to favour moving to London, with the Gunners his preferred option if he quits Barcelona.

 

But the deal he wants would see him paid £18m a year AFTER tax, meaning a weekly wage of £600,000 before deductions.

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner has in the past toyed with the idea of a move to Arsenal and new reports have revealed that he would consider it they can match his huge request.

The request may however make it hard for clubs like Arsenal or even other EPL side like Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea to pay that kind of money. 

Messi is currently earning over £14m a year net in La Liga and has a buy-out clause in excess of £175m

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