​Spanish giants Real Madrid attempted to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in 2013 and were willing to pay the attacker's €250m release clause.

According to Der Spiegel (H/T ​Marca) Messi's lawyer told the player's father, Jorge Messi, of ​Real's interest.


Los Blancos turned to Bale after their attempts failed, bringing the Welshman in from ​Premier League side ​Tottenham Hotspur for a then world-record fee of €100.8m.

Madrid were reportedly ready to pay the Argentinian €23m per year, and his father Jorge a further €1m.

The club have since denied any such offers or negotiations. Yet Der Spiegel claim that a meeting between Messi, his then lawyer, Florentino Perez, then sports director, Miguel Pardeza, and a lawyer from Madrid was set for a private jet. Said meeting likely never took place, but the outlet insist that it was in the making.

There are also sensational claims of Madrid offering to 'put pressure' on a certain government official in order to make all of Messi's tax problems go away.

The player has since been charged and ​convicted of tax fraud in Spain, and was made to pay several millions back to the Spanish tax authorities

In a ​separate report, Der Spiegel note that the player also paid a €12m settlement in 2016 in order to avoid another trial after he hired an adviser to perform a personal audit. 

He was urged to pay the aforementioned sum by said adviser, but Football Leaks claim that the sum did not come out of Messi's pocket, as ​Barcelona took care of it.