Lionel Messi’s representatives have sounded out Manchester United over a possible move for the Argentine to Old Trafford, according to reports in Spain.
The 33-year-old stunned the La Liga giants by handing in a transfer request on Tuesday following the club’s humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich.
Messi had been in two minds over his future at the Camp Nou but he’s decided to leave after concluding that the club’s rebuild will take too long, given he’s in the twilight of his career.
The Argentine’s decision to leave has sent shockwaves through football but it would have been foolish to do so without before sounding out potential suitors over Messi’s next steps.
Few clubs in the world could afford the forward’s reported wages and Sport claim that Messi’s entourage recently spoke to Manchester United about a move to the Theatre of Dreams.
Paris Saint-Germain are listed as a second club that Messi’s people spoke to and Barcelona fear that talks are already progressing with both teams.
It’s claimed United would be willing to pay a transfer fee for Messi, though considerable confusion hangs over the legal terms of the Argentine’s contract with Barcelona.
Messi had the opportunity to leave the club earlier this summer for free had he informed them of his desire to do so in July.
However, he failed to activate the clause and Barcelona therefore see no reason why he should be able to leave for free.
However, Messi’s people are pushing for him to do so, knowing that no team would possibly pay his £700m release clause given he’s 33 years of age.
Barcelona could threaten to take Messi to court should he push through a free transfer but the La Liga giants remain determined to keep their star man.
United have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and lose around £5m for every home game that spectators are prohibited from attending.
However, Messi is widely recognised as the finest footballer of all-time and the club would be willing to shatter their wage structure,to sign him, particularly after Alexis Sanchez’s departure.