How Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea could line up if Lionel Messi completes move
Lionel Messi could be heading to the Premier League this season at Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea.
The 33-year-old has expressed a desire to leave Spanish giants Barcelona, nearly two weeks after a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich saw the side miss out on a Champions League shot for the fifth year running.
It has seen Pep Guardiola’s side emerged as the favourites, with Sky Bet putting them at 3/1 to bring the forward in.
But City’s rivals United have also reportedly got in contact with the Argentine’s representatives as they look to sign a new forward this summer.
While Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have emerged as outside contenders for Messi, looking to create a new front three with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
And Daily Star Sport has looked at how the forward could line up in each of the three sides.
Guardiola knows all about Messi, working with the Argentine for four seasons to win three La Ligas and two Champions Leagues.
But the Spaniard has not been able to taste the same European success at the Etihad Stadium, never going further than the quarter-finals in four seasons.
And Messi could be the answer to their problems, with his consistent goalscoring seeing the 33-year-old never drop below 30 goals for a season since his time with the manager.
It would see the Argentine link up with compatriot Sergio Aguero to form a front three with new arrival Ferran Torres.
Captain Kevin de Bruyne would relish in the attacking options, with Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva providing support for a defence now boasting Nathan Ake.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already been chasing a forward this season as talks continue with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
But Messi could now be in the scouting team’s sights, with the Red Devils “able to afford” a move for the forward.
United already boast a formidable front three, with Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial scoring 62 goals between them.
The arrival of Messi, though – who tore the club apart when he faced them in his two Champions League victories under Guardiola – would warrant a place in the starting XI, with the No.10 most likely to make way.
Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba would be spoilt for choice, while Harry Maguire could be joined in defence by Kalidou Koulibaly.
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Lampard has been making up for lost time this summer, spending the money saved during UEFA’s FFP transfer ban.
It has seen Ziyech and Werner arrive, with a front three expected to be completed by Christian Pulisic.
But a move for Messi, something not beyond owner Roman Abramovich, would displace the American from the starting XI.
Kai Havertz, expected to arrive soon from Bayer Leverkusen, would have a legend of the game to work with at 21 years old.
While Lampard could bolster the defence with Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Mike Maignan as Chelsea flex their muscles for an anticipated title push.
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