Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona this summer with Manchester United linked with a blockbuster transfer.
Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he intends to quit the club this summer with Manchester United and other Premier League clubs already being linked with the superstar. The Argentina international expects to trigger a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave for free this summer.
Any deal would still cost clubs millions with Messi’s annual salary though to be around £100million.
United and Manchester City are the two clubs being mentioned the most due to their financial power.
Messi also previously worked with Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, meaning a switch to the Etihad would make a lot of sense.
Football finance expert Kieran Maguire believes Messi would be interested in making a move to United as well though.
He believes their qualification for the Champions League gives the Red Devils a chance.
But he has questioned Ed Woodward’s cautious approach when it comes to parting with money for the much younger Jadon Sancho this summer.
Maguire exclusively told Express Sport: “Manchester United are a big club, he’d certainly be interested.
“Are they in the Champions League? Yes, so there are some positives there.
“But if you take a look at their cautious approach in regards to Sancho it would seem strange to recruit a 33-year-old player when they are being reluctant to spend too much on a 21-year-old player.”
Maguire also thinks the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham will find it very tough to bring Messi in.
He added: “I think Manchester United are being very cautious because of their ownership model.
“The same with Liverpool. It would be quite a complicated deal for either of those clubs to get involved and Spurs aren’t really in the running.”
Messi was in stunning form again last season, scoring 25 goals and providing 21 assists in La Liga.
Despite those sensational stats, Real Madrid beat Barcelona to the title though.
Maguire also outlined the speculation linking Messi to Manchester City.
He explained: “We would all look to Manchester City because of Lionel Messi’s historic links with Pep Guardiola.
“City are making it very clear that they are not pursuing him because he is currently a Barcelona player.
“They are waiting to see how things develop.”