If you thought this summer’s transfer window was going to be another relatively quiet one – oh, how wrong you were!
Thursday night’s sporting headlines were expected to be dominated by the official announcement that former Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish had completed his stunning £100m British transfer record move to Manchester City.
However, just moments before the Citizens whipped the veil of their classy new attacker, La Liga giants Barcelona stole the front and the back pages after announcing world-class attacker Lionel Messi will be departing the club.
Despite initial reports indicating the South American will pen a new long-term deal, it is understood that due to financial complications, the Catalan side could not meet the requirements in order to register the star – leaving him nothing more than a clubless free agent.
Reports on Friday now suggest the Argentine maestro will become Mauricio Pochettino’s fourth free transfer signing of the summer window.
However, most interestingly, Messi’s proposed switch to Ligue 1 could have some major repercussions for club’s in the Premier League – most notably Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United.
Prior to the confirmation that Messi is available to sign for a new club, Red Devils’ midfielder Paul Pogba was understood to be pursued by the Parisians.
However, the latest in the ongoing saga comes from ESPN’s Julian Laurens, who claims that Messi’s impending arrival at the Parc des Princes will not only increase the chances of Kylian Mbappe remaining with the club, but it would also signal an end to their pursuit of Pogba.
Laurens notes that while, on the face of it, Paris-Saint Germain’s desire to sign Messi could be a good thing for Manchester United, ending their interest would effectively mean the Frenchman will also become a free agent this time next year.