Manchester giants and Chelsea 'make a move' to sign Lionel Messi
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have made contact with Lionel Messi's representatives as he considers ending his time with Barcelona, according to reports in the UK media.
The Sun's back page headlines on Friday are dominated by suggestions that Messi is unhappy at Barcelona after Spanish authorities opted to press ahead with tax fraud charges against him and his father.
Messi is set to face a trial in a €4.1m tax case that has been rumbling on for many a month, with the 28-year-old said to disillusioned with life in Spain as a result.
While it is hard to imagine Barcelona allowing Messi to leave, with his current contract believed to run until the summer of 2018, he has previously stated that he would be interested in playing in a different league before he hangs up his goal laden boots.
With a huge influx of cash set to flow into the Premier League courtesy of new media rights deals next summer, a move to England may be the only option for Messi if he does consider ending his reign as the king of the Nou Camp.
Messi in a Manchester United or Chelsea shirt may seem like a long shot right now, but if the four-time world Player of the Year is serious about leaving Barcelona, the Premier League giants will be at the front of the queue to take him.
A more likely scenario may be that these leaks in the press will hurry Barcelona into offering the jewel in their crown yet another new contract and a bumper pay rise.