Chinese side Hebei China Fortune could hijack Barcelona's bid to tie down Lionel Messi to a new contract, according to reports on Thursday.
Messi to pocket 100 million a year in China?
Sky Sports claims that the Asian club, now coached by former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, are prepared to pay the Argentina captain a whopping 500 million euros after tax over five years.
Hebei China Fortune were founded in 2010 and are in only their first season in the Chinese Super League, the country's elite football division.
However, they have spent big in their efforts to become one of the continent's major forces, signing stars such as ex-Paris Saint-Germain ace Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Barcelona confident Messi contract will be resolved
Despite the eye-watering sums reportedly on offer to Messi were he to move to the Far East, Barça are confident of reaching an agreement with the 29-year-old.
The Camp Nou outfit are thought to be ready to pay around 35 million euros a year net to Messi, whose present deal expires in 2018.
Futures of Suárez and Neymar already secured
Attacking colleague Luis Suárez is to sign fresh terms with Barça on Friday, while fellow striker Neymar penned an extension in October.
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