Madrid ‘tried for Messi last year’

Real Madrid reportedly tried to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona last year but were rejected by the No 10 for the third time.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Madrid have made three attempts to bring Messi to the club, in 2011, 2013 and last summer.

The Argentine had just been sentenced to 21 months in prison and fined for tax crimes – something that angered him to the point that he was considering an exit.

Los Blancos President Florentino Perez is also on record as saying “the best players in the world must always play” for his team, with the newspaper attributing that quote to the 30-year-old.

However, he ended up staying and is thought to be close to signing a new contract, which would make him the world’s best-paid player.