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Lionel Messi factor touted as Barcelona battle Man Utd for £60m Chelsea ace

Barcelona landed an impressive domestic double last season which would suggest that coach Ernesto Valverde has a strong squad at his disposal already.

Further, the Catalan giants scored a whopping 99 goals in 38 league games, giving them the most potent attack in the top flight, but speculation would suggest that they are seeking reinforcements in that department.

SEE MORE: Manchester United confident they’re closer to raiding Prem rivals for fourth signing of the summer

Valverde will have Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho among others at his disposal, but as reported by The Sun, the La Liga champions are said to be in a transfer scrap with Man Utd over the £60m signing of Chelsea winger Willian.

The 29-year-old had a decent season last year at Stamford Bridge, scoring 13 goals and providing 12 assists in 55 appearances in all competitions. He endured a frustrating World Cup for the most part though as he struggled to find consistency in a prominent role for Tite’s side, but it’s seemingly not enough to put off either United or Barca.

Now, it’s been suggested by journalist Duncan Castles, as per the Manchester Evening News, that signing Willian could be a crucial addition for Barcelona to ultimately benefit Messi and help him make a more decisive impact for the Spanish outfit.

“What they are looking for is an explosive player to liberate Messi.

“Barcelona are trying to solve the problem for their best player by pursuing a player like Willian, who they think will improve their tactical options. There’s a potential for Manchester United to come back in there. But the price is high.”

It’s a fair conclusion to draw, as Willian’s pace, movement off the ball and ability to attract attention with his direct running could open up spaces for Messi and others to exploit.

However, it’s questionable as to whether or not Dembele is capable of the same thing, and although he endured an injury-hit first campaign at the Nou Camp, he’ll be desperate to make a bigger impression next season.

With that in mind, it remains to be seen whether or not signing Willian is a particularly sensible idea, particularly given that touted £60m price-tag., as per the Sun, which is a hefty price for a player approaching 30 and one who hasn’t always even been a regular in the Chelsea line-up.

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