Barcelona star Lionel Messi has told the club he wants to leave this summer and Spanish transfer expert Guillem Balague thinks Manchester United would be able to meet the Argentine’s salary demands.
Messi is fighting hard to be allowed to walk away from the Nou Camp on a free transfer.
His father, Jorge Messi, has been in Catalonia for showdown talks this week and they are yet to reach a conclusion.
If the 33-year-old is allowed to quit Barcelona there may not be many clubs who can afford his enormous salary.
Messi earns around £24million a year which would take up a large chunk of most budgets.
United were priced out of signing Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho as the Bundesliga side wanted a £108m transfer fee.
But Balague feels they would be able to use the cash put to one side for the England international on Messi.
However, there could be an issue as the Barcelona attacker does not fit with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s philosophy of signing players for the future.
“Manchester United, I am sure if they wanted to put the money together they would be able to do so,” Balague told the BBC.
“I am not even sure the style suits what Messi can do right now.”
Manchester City are the favourites to capture Messi but Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are also in the running.
Balague added: “Juventus are like ‘let us get all the commercial side ready. Don’t rush a decision because we are there’.
“PSG, the possibility will be open until the last day.”
But why does Messi want to walk away from Barcelona?
“I’ll give you a few clues; [he has won] one Champions League in nine years, the fact that the team seems to be on a negative dynamic,” Balague explained.
“Domestically they have been winning things but not last season and it seems like it is getting worse.
“Decisions made at the highest level have been made on fear.
“Lionel Messi has to ask himself ‘do I want to be the leader of a transition or do I want to go somewhere else where I can win things straight away?’
“For Messi it really is a huge step.”
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