Lionel Messi crucial as Barcelona hold advantage over Man Utd in transfer battle for Dutch starlet

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Barcelona ace Lionel Messi could reportedly hold the key to ensuring that the Catalan giants beat Man Utd in the race to sign a top prospect moving forward.

A lot has been made of the promise and talent that Ajax youngster Justin Kluivert has shown early in his career, with the 18-year-old bagging eight goals and four assists in 30 appearances so far this season.

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There is a strong argument to suggest that he would be better off staying with the Dutch giants for the foreseeable future as they can offer him regular playing time and a chance to further develop his game and mature into a top player before moving on.

However, according to Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, it appears as though Kluivert is eager to play alongside Messi and that in turn will leave Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho disappointed as he has heavily linked with a move for the teenager.

Neither move would make sense for Kluivert in the immediate future, as he’ll be battling the likes of Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho for a place in the starting line-up at the Nou Camp.

Meanwhile, at Old Trafford, it would be a similar story alongside the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez.

In turn, for his own development, it’s surely in his best interests to stay at Ajax rather than go sit on the bench elsewhere in the coming years, but based on this report, Barcelona could have a great opportunity to snap up one of the top talents in Europe.

Given his father, Patrick, played for the illustrious Spanish giants during his playing career, coupled with the fact that they look set to enjoy a successful season under Ernesto Valverde this year, there are certainly plenty of reasons as to why a move to Barcelona would appeal to Kluivert moving forward.

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