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  • Lionel Messi is due in a Spanish court shortly due to a tax fraud investigation that may see him in jail for 22 months, according to the BBC.

    Lionel Messi is due in a Spanish court shortly due to a tax fraud investigation that may see him in jail for 22 months, according to the BBC. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 November 2015

Barcelona’s Argentine star striker is said to be asking for an annual US$27 million dollar contract with Arsenal even though he faces a possible 22 months in jail for tax fraud.

Reports have surfaced that Argentina soccer superstar Lionel Messi may be transferred out to Premier League team Arsenal and that he is demanding an annual salary of about US$27 million, various sports news outlets reported Monday.

Messi, who has just returned to training camp after recovering from an injury weeks ago, has a buy-out clause with his current Liga team Barcelona worth over US$262 million, making him the most valuable player in the world today.

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are also apparently seeking to sign Messi, but the Daily Star said that the only thing holding them back is the fact that Messi is asking for a US$27 million dollar contract.

The Associated Press reports that Barcelona is not too keen to see its star striker leave and may consider renewing his contract with better pay.

Other news reports suggest that Messi is disappointed with Spain because of the tax scandal he and his father are facing, which may see the four-time Player of the Year star in court shortly.

RELATED: Ronaldo May Be Playing His Last Season with Real Madrid

The Argentine player and his father, Jorge Messi, are accused of defrauding Spain of around US$3 million. They are both set to face trial and potentially face 22 months in prison, BBC News reported.

Barcelona B coach Gerard Lopez has revealed the Argentina international has been training with his squad ahead of a possible return against Real Madrid this weekend

In the meantime, Messi has returned to training with Barcelona's B team and appears to be almost fully recuperated from a knee injury during a game against Las Palmas on Sept. 26.

RELATED: Neymar Faces Tax Fraud Probe in Brazil

However, he will apparently be benched in the Clasico against Real Madrid this Saturday.

"Leo completed training. I saw him well and I am glad that the recovery is positive," Lopez said.

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