Bayern Munich cannot afford to join the bidding for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, claims the club’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
An exit door at Camp Nou has been opened by a six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Unsurprisingly, leading sides from across Europe are scrambling to position themselves at the front of the queue for an all-time great.
If a deal is to be done for Messi, then he will be joining a side that can match his ambition.
Bayern, as treble winners in 2020, would form part of an elite group that could offer the Argentine shots at the domestic and continental crowns he craves.
Rummenigge, though, claims the German giants do not possess the spending power required to pull off such a capture.
He told Tuttosport when asked if Bayern will enter the race for Messi: “No.”
Explaining that call, Rummenigge added: “We can’t pay a player of that size. It is not part of our policy and philosophy.
“Honestly, hearing that Messi could leave Barcelona makes me a little sad. Leo has written the history of that club and in my opinion he should end his career with the Blaugrana.
“There are internal and private aspects there that I don’t know about and that is why I will not interfere.”
While Bayern are ruling themselves out of the running, the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Inter and Manchester City are all said to be keen on securing Messi’s services.
Quizzed on why they can afford to put a package in place and those at the Allianz Area cannot, Rummenigge said: “I'm not bluffing, I don't really know.
“For me it would be like playing the Lotto. There is very little money around.
“It's true, Chelsea have already spent 250 million, but they have just returned from two transfer windows that saw them spend no money due to an embargo.
“At the time of Covid it is not easy for any company. A rich owner is not enough. He must be very rich.”
Bayern, who savoured Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League glory in 2019-20, can argue that they have no need for Messi at present, with their fearsome attacking unit already boasting the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane.