Exclusive: Euro giants confident about agreeing colossal Lionel Messi deal, with transfer to aid Man Utd pursuit of £63m ace

Lionel Messi of Argentina

Spanish titans Barcelona are preparing for Lionel Messi’s astonishing return to the Nou Camp and the move will help Manchester United to capture one of their top targets, TEAMtalk understands.

Messi scored an incredible 672 goals in 788 matches for Barca, helping them to win four Champions Leagues, 10 La Liga titles and seven Copa del Reys, plus a host of other trophies. However, he was forced to leave Barca in August 2021 as the Blaugrana simply could not afford to offer him a suitable new contract.

Few clubs in the world had the finances and pull power needed to sign the forward, and in the end he went to Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi had a tough first season in France compared to his own high standards, but he has been in electric form this term. 19 goals and 18 assists have come his way in 34 matches, though he was still booed in the aftermath of PSG’s Champions League exit to Bayern Munich.

The Argentina international, who helped his nation win the World Cup late last year, is continuously linked with a return to Barca.

Everyone involved with the La Liga side would love Messi to come back after all he did for the team during his first spell.

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And transfer insider Graeme Bailey has told TEAMtalk that Barca are growing in confidence about re-signing the world-renowned star.

Sources in Catalonia insist it is a case of when Messi returns to Barca, rather than if.

Lionel Messi and family want Barcelona return

Messi has been keeping PSG at arm’s length since the Qatar World Cup – but this is not about the French outfit.

Messi’s family would really like to move back to Barcelona. The player has offers from American and Saudi Arabian clubs, but the chance to return to Barca is something he is unlikely to reject.

Barca clearly have off-field issues. However, club president Joan Laporta is already working on this deal and is high in confidence that it will reach completion, no matter what it takes.

It is important to note that before Messi can go back to Barca they must make room for him. And TEAMtalk understands one player Messi could really impact is central midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

The Dutchman is one of Barca’s most valuable assets and he could therefore be put up for sale to help Messi’s return go through.

This would delight Man Utd, who have been pursuing De Jong ever since Erik ten Hag became manager last summer.

Man Utd were in negotiations with Barca for several months before reaching a £63million agreement in July. The Red Devils thought they were close to signing De Jong at that point but he only wanted to remain at Barca.

However, Laporta would have no problem with forcing De Jong out this summer if it allowed Barca to land Messi.

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has provided the latest information on Marcus Rashford’s contract discussions at Man Utd.