• Lionel Messi has expressed his interest to leave Barca after almost two decades with the team
  • Manchester United is unlikely to sign Messi
  • The club ahead of everyone in terms of signing Messi is Manchester City

The news of Lionel Messi wanting to leave Barcelona and sign with a different team may unlikely happen for Manchester United. The Old Trafford-based squad has been focused on slowly developing their young stars and signing Messi may be out of reach.

Several teams have already been linked to Messi and while Manchester United has been among the clubs mentioned, it appears that they will not be able to get the Argentinean legend onboard. The current strategy now of the Red Devils involves a long-term goal of slow yet consistent player development, per Fansided’s The Red Devil Armada.

The current roster of Manchester United highlights the resurgence of Paul Pogba leading the charge for the team. Couple this with Bruno Fernandes playing at a high offensive level as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to maintain the core roster intact. To add to these, players such as Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford have made big strides in terms of their skills and maturity on the field.

Being able to sign someone like Messi’s caliber would entail a load of financial resources in order to pull off such a move. The current market value of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is estimated to be at 112 million Euros. In addition to this, Messi also has a release clause worth 700 million Euros to buy him out of Barcelona.

The likelihood of Messi signing with Manchester United are slim with the current betting odds indicate that Manchester City is way ahead of everyone in the race. There is a possibility of a reunion of the 2008-2012 Barcelona squad with Messi and Pep Guardiola teaming up again. With Messi openly sharing he prefers to play for Manchester City, the entire sporting community is anticipating when the ten-time La Liga champion will finalize a deal.

The world remains in shock when the news broke, as Messi has been the staple figure of Barcelona in his entire career. The stellar impact Messi has had in football was mostly done in a Barcelona uniform. With the recent turmoil within the team, Messi has decided that he no longer wants to be part of the struggling club.

It will be interesting to see where Messi will eventually end up after this saga. It will also be crucial for other clubs such as Manchester United to continue improving their roster despite the Messi transfer rumors.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) said his side's fine form has  slowed him from ageing
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Paul Pogba POOL / PETER POWELL