Lionel Messi may just be the most powerful man at Barcelona.
According to a report in Spain, five-time Ballon d’Or winner intervened to prevent a summer transfer for Arsenal playmaker Mesut Özil.
The German international is entering the last year of his contract at the Emirates and had been linked with a summer switch to Barcelona. However, the 28-year-old opportunity of a move to Catalonia was scuppered by Messi, according to a report by rumours site Don Balon.
The report rather sensationally also claims that Real Sociedad star Iñigo Martínez also had a move to the Camp Nou vetoed by Barcelona’s talisman because of the threat that would pose to close friend Javier Mascherano in the starting lineup.
Özil was one of three first team stars at Arsenal who were uncertain about their futures heading into deadline day of the summer transfer window.
In spite of the rumours about Messi’s power, Barcelona did sign three players this summer, with Benfica’s Nélson Semedo the first to join Barcelona over the summer in a £27m.
Paulinho and Ousmane Dembélé also moved to Catalonia for a combined £130m, as Barcelona look to close the gap between themselves and Real Madrid.