Leading football financial expert Kieran Maguire has given his verdict on where world number one Lionel Messi could end up if he were to leave Barcelona and come to the Premier League this summer.
Messi, 33, is reportedly on the verge of leaving the Catalonian club where he has spent the last 20 years after telling the club he wishes to activate a clause within his contract which will allow him to leave for free.
Although there is some dispute over the activation period of Messi’s contractual clause, the striker appears to be adamant he is leaving the Spanish club.
According to leading football financial expert Kieran Maguire who spoke to the Express, there are only two realistic options for the world-class Argentinian in the Premier League; Manchester City and Manchester United.
Maguire conceded that Liverpool are unlikely to pursue Messi due to their ownership model and admitted Daniel Levy’s Tottenham Hotspur are not in the running to snap-up the six time world footballer of the year.
Maguire does mention how United’s business model is similar to Liverpool’s but does firmly believe the prospect of playing for the Red Devils would ‘interest’ Messi.
“Manchester United are a big club, he’d certainly be interested,” Maguire said, “Are they in the Champions League? Yes, so there are some positives there.”
The United hierarchy have yet to spend this window as they remain committed in their cautious approach to this summer’s transfer window.
Despite the Red’s targeting Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho for several months, a move has yet to materialise and is now becoming increasingly unlikely to after Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc made a statement that the 20-year-old will be a Dortmund player next season, as per Sky Sports.
Given United’s reluctancy to pursue Sancho, Maguire feels it would be strange for the club to then go after 33-year-old Messi, he said: “But if you take a look at their cautious approach in regards to Sancho it would seem strange to recruit a 33-year-old player when they are being reluctant to spend too much on a 21-year-old player.”
Maguire finished by offering his thoughts on the possibility that Messi could link back up with former manager Pep Guardiola, he said: “We would all look to Manchester City because of Lionel Messi’s historic links with Pep Guardiola.
“City are making it very clear that they are not pursuing him because he is currently a Barcelona player.
“They are waiting to see how things develop.”