Red Devils the only club who can afford the player’s release clause.
Manchester United have lept into pole position in the race to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi, report the Guardian, because the Red Devils’ financial advantage over other clubs in the Premier League means that they are the only English side who could afford to meet the £195 million release clause written into the Argentine’s contract at Barcelona.
Fresh doubt was cast over the future of the multiple Ballon d’Or winner on the day that he missed out to Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2014 award, after he is reported to have said that he did not know where he’d be playing his football next season, stoking the fire after weeks of speculation linking him with Manchester City and Chelsea.
The report suggests that neither of these clubs would be capable of meeting the financial demands of a deal for Messi due to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, however, a restriction not in place at United after Ed Woodward handed Louis van Gaal an effectively unlimited transfer budget.
Despite their failure to qualify for the Champions League this season, United’s commercial revenues still dwarf those of their rivals and the report suggests that the new kit deal with Adidas, signed by United, could be a significant contributing factor in any potential move for Messi.