Ever since news broke that Lionel Messi has rejected a contract extension with Barcelona, rumours have been flying around regarding the Argentine superstar’s future. Now, it might appear that 20-time Premier League champions Manchester United aided by sponsors Adidas are planning to lure Messi away from Nou Camp.
Messi, who is widely considered as the best player in the world, is committed to Spanish champions Barcelona until 2018. While contractual talks have been stalled, club president Josep Bartomeu is confident that the 29-year-old will extend his stay in the Catalonian club. However, the rumours continue to persist about a possible exit.
As reported earlier, an unknown club were willing to pay Messi a massive sum to let his contract run out. While the name of the mystery club was not revealed then, there are reports suggesting that Manchester United are indeed the club who have plotted the coupe.
According to reports in Spanish newspaper Sport, Manchester United are plotting a move with the help of Adidas to gatecrash Barcelona’s hopes of securing their legend’s future with them.
Reportedly, United are willing to pay Messi a whopping £85m-a-year as a reward for letting his current deal run out. If the Argentine playmaker agrees to this, then United would not have to pay the massive £215m buy-out clause that is on his current contract.
German manufacturer Adidas, who sponsor both Messi and United, are said to be backing the plan. Reportedly, they are willing to support Jose Mourinho’s side financially to help bring the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to England.
Messi’s club Barcelona are sponsored by Adidas’ arch-rivals Nike and this could be one of the reasons behind the German company’s actions. If any deal ultimately transpires between United and Messi, it would essentially cost the club £170m.
However, United have previously failed on a number of occasions to sign the biggest stars in world football such as Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, etc. With Messi, the competition is even more intense.
Last week, reports had come out that United’s arch enemies Manchester City want to sign the left-footed magician. Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are the other suitors but Pep Guardiola’s presence at City slightly tilted the balance towards the blue half of Manchester.
Messi is at the peak of his career and still has at least 4-5 years of football left in him. Even in 2018, he will be one of the best players in the world and Barcelona will be hoping that the Argentine would stay at the club.