La Liga president Javier Tebas believes that financial doping is the only way that Manchester City will be able to secure the signing of Lionel Messi. He became a free agent at the start of the month with the club unable to offer him a new deal due to financial restrictions. He believes that Messi will be forced to take a substantial pay cut to stay in Barcelona. Tebas maintained that La Liga will not make an exemption to their fair play rules to keep the striker.

“He won’t be able to sign [for Barcelona] on the previous conditions, that’s impossible,” said Tebas about the possibility of Manchester City signing Lionel Messi. “I don’t think any European club would be able to pay that amount. Manchester City have lost €270m [during the Covid-19 pandemic] so obviously, they wouldn’t even consider signing Messi [on his old salary]. If they do, it will be financial doping. I’ve told [Pep] Guardiola this too. I’ve directly said that to him, ‘would you have won as many titles without as much economic doping?”

“When the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) let off Manchester City there were a lot of comments about that. (Jose) Mourinho and all these other coaches said this. If this happens I think it would be absolutely incredible.” he added. “This is the sort of governance where we should establish minutes. This economic doping is what is really damaging football. It is not real money that’s involved because it is not generated by the clubs. If the money in the football industry isn’t generated by football, it just causes inflation. And it’s a bad type of inflation.”

Tebas has targeted Manchester City and PSG in the past. he accused them of financial doping back in 2017. Most recently he called for better control to keep the power of state-owned clubs in check.

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