Sensational rumours claim Manchester United and Adidas are teaming up to secure Lionel Messi for the Red Devils in 2018.
But is the touted move within the realm of possibility?
The greatest player in the modern game, calling on Messi is the stuff of dreams for most clubs.
Barcelona have enjoyed Messi’s wonderful talent over the years and the Catalans hope the 29-year-old will stay at the Camp Nou until the end of his career.
However, recent talk suggests Messi is heading toward the exit. An unsigned contract extension alerted United to the possibility of landing him.
According to reports from Spain, Manchester United and Adidas are hopeful of convincing Messi not to sign a new deal with Barcelona by offering him £85 million and then look to acquire his services in 2018 when he becomes a free agent by tabling a contract worth £42 million.
Adidas Help Smooth The Way?
Adidas, Messi’s sponsors for the last 13 years, hold a lot of influence with the Argentine attacker. The German sports manufacturer want their biggest star joining Manchester United, another of the company’s biggest clients.
United fans, excited at the prospect of signing Messi, see that the justification behind the potential deal makes sense at first glance. Nonetheless, there is a clear flaw in the ‘reported’ plan. United and Adidas trying to convince Messi not to sign a new deal with Barcelona is a case of tapping-up and such actions are forbidden.
Without a shadow of a doubt, United would love a player of Messi’s calibre but would the Premier League giants – as well as Adidas – risk their huge reputations with a deal which would land both them and Messi in hot water?
£85 million under the table not to sign a contract with his current team? It’s outrageous but this is football. Are United daft enough to engage in an act of bribery?
Too Old To Be Worth It?
Messi will be 31 by the time he joined United. The Red Devils have spent mindlessly in recent times. Paying in excess of £130 million for a player in his thirties is rank poor business.
Messi shares a special bond with Barcelona; the Spanish giants made him the player he is today. The Argentine has repeatedly stated that he would only consider leaving Catalonia for Newell’s Old Boys.
Money isn’t everything; United can’t turn Messi’s with riches. Both clubs are wealthier than most and Barcelona themselves can afford a good deal, especially for a player as iconic as Messi.
To conclude, Messi signing for United seems virtually impossible and certainly not in the manner in which the aforementioned reports have suggested.