The whole world will have noted in recent months that much speculation has focused on Barcelona, and whether the Spanish giants can afford to keep their ridiculously talented trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez at Camp Nou given their financial constraints.
The Blaugrana have repeatedly said they do not intend to sell any of the three players, but both Manchester clubs will test the Catalan club’s resolve next summer in a “£1 billion battle,” according to The Sun.
The paper reports that United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is “desperate to land Neymar,” while “Woodward’s rival at City, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, is working just as hard to pull off the biggest transfer coup in history for Messi.” With “money no object” for either Premier League club, it will apparently be a straight competition between City and United as to which side can tempt one of MSN away from Spain to England.
The figures on offer — a total outlay of £195m for Neymar and £550m for Messi if he also decides to join City’s sister club, New York City FC, in the MLS after a stint at the Etihad — are mind-boggling. But The Sun insists the sums “really do stack up” when factoring in huge new TV rights deals and sponsorship agreements. With managers Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti also up for grabs, Manchester could be the centre of world football’s next transfer battle extraordinaire.
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