Lionel Messi is being linked with a shock Manchester United transfer – and not for the first time.
Messi was linked with the club briefly as a youngster rising through the ranks at Barcelona.
Aged just 20, he was asked directly about reports linking him with the Old Trafford club and poured cold water on speculation.
He insisted he was happy at Barcelona and “realised his dream” – but things have now taken a drastic turn.
After a glittering career at the Nou Camp, he has grown disillusioned with the way the club is being run and, after three straight years of humiliating Champions League exits, he has declared his desire to leave.
Some reports in Spain claim the Red Devils have been in contact with Messi’s entourage, although a move to Old Trafford in the current climate looks highly unilikely.
Asked by FourFourTwo about a United transfer back in 2007, Messi responded: ”I’m happy in Barcelona. Why wouldn't I be?
“I’ve realised my dream. It's the best club in the world with the best players.
“My family are happy here; they like it.”
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Asked a follow-up about fellow Argentinian Carlos Tevez, playing for United at the time, he added: “I know. He likes it there. I'm not surprised he's done well.
“I’d pay to watch him play. He's so skilful, a fighter full of energy. Him and Rooney playing together – two bulls!
“Imagine if Saviola played with them. Three bulls!”
Despite links with United, a move to Manchester City looks more likely if Messi does head to the Premier League.
The Athletic claim Messi has already spoken to former manager Pep Guardiola about his decision to leave the Nou Camp.
And although City are remaining tight-lipped over Messi, it is understood they would be keen to explore the possibility of bringing arguably the greatest player of all-time to the Etihad.
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