Lionel Messi To Manchester United?

Manchester United are allegedly monitoring Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona closely and are even preparing a $295 million bid for the player.

According to the Guardian, Manchester United are seriously considering placing the titanic bid for the Argentinian. That’s because they are the only team in the Premier League that could genuinely afford to purchase Lionel Messi.

While Manchester City and Chelsea have both been repeatedly linked to Messi’s possible signing over the last few weeks and months, they would find it incredibly difficult to purchase the Barcelona forward because of Uefa’s financial fair play rules.

While these clubs are both owned by multi-billionaires who could afford to bank-roll Messi’s move to England in an heartbeat, the fact that they don’t generate enough revenue or have the cash saved to fund the purchase means that they would face a heavy fine if they did buy Messi.

Manchester United. on the other hand, would be able to pay the £195 million ($295 million) in one installment while also avoiding the sanctions from UEFA. That’s because of their status as one of the most heavily supported clubs in the world (the Red Devils are thought to have 659 million fans across the globe), the fact that they have a stadium that sells out 80,000 seats a week and because they are constantly generating money thanks to their advertising contracts with the likes of DHL, AON and Adidas, who they signed a £750 million ($1.1 billion) 10-year contract with in July. All of this adds up to mean that Manchester United have the available cash to make a bid for Lionel Messi without facing any legal issues.

Rumors that Lionel Messi might leave Barcelona emerged once again on Monday after he confirmed at the Ballon d’Or ceremony that he wasn’t sure where he would be at the start of next season.

“I am not sure where I will be next year. I have always said that I will end my career at Barcelona but as Cristiano said: ‘Only God knows the future.’ Things in football can change overnight.”

This came just a few nights after Lionel Messi diffused “lies” that he had issued an ultimatum to Barcelona which insisted he would leave the club if manager Luis Enrique wasn’t sacked. He also added that he hadn’t spoken to Manchester City or Chelsea about a possible transfer.

“I don’t demand anything for me to stay because I have no intention of leaving anywhere. I’ve heard stories I’ve spoken to Chelsea or City, that’s all lies.”

Meanwhile Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman at Manchester United, recently made it clear that Louis Van Gaal has the funds available to him to make a world-record transfer bid for any player on the globe. It was previously assumed that this cash would be reserved for a bid to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford from Real Madrid. However, that is looking more and more unlikely now.

“Whether it’s a [world] record or not doesn’t really resonate with us. What resonates is an elite player that the manager wants who is going to be a star for Manchester United.”

[Image via digitaldeconstruction.com]