Lionel Messi’s reported desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer could have indirect consequences for Manchester United’s transfer plans. The Argentinian icon is apparently set to leave the French outfit at the end of the season, with the club likely to be in the market for a new striker in the summer window.
Messi was incredibly whistled by his own supporters during PSG’s defeat by Lyon at the weekend. Reports in the French media claim the legendary forward is leaning towards a departure when his contract ends in the summer, although his club have an option to extend his deal by a further 12 months.
PSG are apparently looking towards the future and are prepared to offload some of their big-name, high-paid megastars. Messi is the most likely to leave, although Neymar and even Kylian Mbappe have been linked with exits over the past few months.
It means the perennial Ligue 1 champions will be in the market for a new striker in the summer. With Man Utd also on the hunt for an elite goalscorer to fix their scoring issues, there could be a monumental tussle for the world’s best attackers during the off-season.
Victor Osimhen has been linked with both clubs. It previously seemed that United would be the favourites to sign the Napoli ace, but Messi’s uncertain future at PSG could dent the Red Devils’ chances of striking a deal.
Osimhen’s agent, Andrea D’Amico, thinks his client is the best striker in world football and would be the perfect replacement for Messi. He told Radio 24: “At the moment, Osimhen is the best striker in the world. Yes, even better than Haaland.
“He certainly won't lack options, especially in England and Paris Saint-Germain, who could lose an important player up front. In my opinion, Messi will go to Miami. But that's just my opinion.”
If Osimhen opts for a move to Paris over Old Trafford, United could find themselves short of alternative targets. Benfica hotshot Goncalo Ramos is reportedly of interest to Chelsea, with suggestions that Blues co-owner Todd Boehly is jetting out to Portugal this weekend on a ‘scouting mission’.
That could leave Harry Kane as one of only very few alternatives for United. But Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is infamously firm during transfer negotiations and it remains unclear whether the businessman will allow his star player to leave during the summer, despite Kane entering the final 12 months of his contract.
United may hope that Messi makes a shock U-turn and remains at PSG into next season, to avoid triggering an unfortunate chain of events that work against Erik ten Hag and the Old Trafford hierarchy.