LONDON, United Kingdom, July 7 – Manchester United are willing to offer a huge transfer fee plus two players in a bid to convince Barcelona to sell star player Lionel Messi, according to a report in Argentina.
Reports claim Messi’s relationship with Barca is under strain this season, after a seemingly unsuccessful defence of the La Liga title, with the Catalan giants trailing leaders Real Madrid by four points with four matches to play.
Indeed, Messi took issue with Eric Abidal in February after the sporting director’s criticism of players’ commitment under former boss Luis Enrique.
What’s more, public criticism of Antoine Griezmann has reportedly frustrated the forward further.
As such, Messi has reportedly decided to call off contract talks with Barca, with his current deal expiring next summer.
According to Argentina-based Varsky Sports, United are willing to make a serious bid for the 33-year-old.
The Red Devils are reportedly considering offering Sh14 billion (€120million) and one or two players. However, the report does not make clear which stars United could offload.
Paris Saint-Germain are also in the hunt, the source says, and they would also offer one or two stars in a deal. However, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has banished claims that Messi could cut ties with Barca.
He told Movistar (via BBC Sport): “We are negotiating with many players but Messi has explained to us he wants to stay. And so we’re going to enjoy him for much longer.”
Messi has enjoyed another impressive season in front of goal, scoring 24 goals and assisting 27 others.