Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Double Man Utd interest in £400m Lionel Messi move with star to push out failed Solskjaer signing and battle Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi of Argentina

There are two reasons why Manchester United fans will be interested by the next move Lionel Messi achieves, with the World Cup winner poised to replace a disappointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signing and rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the Middle East.

Messi’s future is unclear following his two-week suspension by Paris Saint-Germain. He had gone on an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, for whom he works as a tourism ambassador.

During the ban, Messi cannot play or even train for the Ligue 1 leaders.

On Wednesday, French newspaper L’Equipe revealed the suspension to be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for Messi’s PSG spell.

The attacker’s current contract is set to expire in the summer and PSG have the option to extend it by a year. But L’Equipe report that the French club will not be activating that option, allowing Messi to leave on a free transfer.

This has given Manchester City one final chance to reunite Messi with his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

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However, City will face competition from Barcelona, Inter Miami and clubs in Saudi Arabia for the Argentina legend.

Barca are trying to gain enough money to tempt him back to the Nou Camp. But Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal could leave City, Barca and Inter Miami disappointed.

Lionel Messi could force ex-Man Utd striker out

Sky Sports News presenter Hayley McQueen has provided a big update on Messi’s future. She said: “[Messi] will leave the club when his contract expires this summer and he’s been linked with a move to Al-Hilal.

“Any potential deal for Messi could see Odion Ighalo leave the Saudi Arabian club. Ighalo has entered the final two months of his contract and as it stands no talks are planned over an extension.

“We are told Al Ain have approached Ighalo’s representatives over a move, [while] Al-Hilal continue to work on a deal to sign Messi.

“One source has told Sky Sports News talks have taken place and verbal offers [have been] made. Some reports suggest a deal could be worth over £400m.”

Messi moving to Al-Hilal would be very interesting as it would see him come up against long-term rival Ronaldo. The former Man Utd star joined Al-Nassr in January and has gone on to net 12 goals in 15 appearances since then.

Messi signing for Al-Hilal could help the team overtake Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr. Currently, Al-Nassr are second in the Saudi top flight, three points behind leaders Al-Ittihad. Al-Hilal, meanwhile, are sat in fourth spot, seven points behind Ronaldo and co.

Ighalo will be keeping an eye on Messi’s situation as it looks set to impact his own future. If Messi does join Al-Hilal, then Ighalo will be forced out of the club.

After struggling at Man Utd, scoring just five goals in 23 games, the Nigerian has been in fantastic form in the Middle East. This term, he has found the back of the net 20 times in 28 outings.

However, Al-Hilal are eager to use his wages to try and capture Messi. Not only would Messi be able to register more goal contributions than Ighalo, but he would also bring in far more money thanks to his colossal following.

Meanwhile, reports in France claim one of Kylian Mbappe’s international team-mates is at the top of Man Utd’s wanted list.