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Lionel Messi makes major Man Utd transfer request to club chiefs

BARCELONA-BARCELONA superstar Lionel Messi has reportedly asked club chiefs to sign Manchester United’s Paul Pogba in January.

Barcelona made four signings this summer – Malcom, Clement Lenglet, Arthur and Arturo Vidal – with the former being the most expensive at £36.5m.

The Catalan giants opted against signing a marquee player despite being strongly linked with moves for Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann.

And it seems Barca’s failure to land a big-name star has caused concern for Lionel Messi.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have struggled to fill the void left by Andres Iniesta after he joined Japanese club Vissel Kobe and Messi believes the club need to address the issue if they want to challenge for titles.

Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda claims Pogba is the Argentine’s preference to fill Iniesta’s boots.

However, Financial Fair Play concerns stopped Barca going all out to sign him in the summer and instead they could look to bring him in on loan in January with the option to buy.

“Messi has asked for Pogba, but the problem of Barça is the Financial Fair Play,” Inda told Ok Diario.

“They have a chance to bring Pogba in winter on loan with a purchase option.”

Pogba remains under contract with the Red Devils until 2021 but his future at Old Trafford remains uncertain after clashes with Jose Mourinho.

However, the France World Cup winner recently downplayed ‘rumours’ linking him with a switch to the Nou Camp.

“I’m under contract,” said Pogba. “There were little things with the coach [Mourinho], the relationship is always the same.

“We have goals in common, we want to win, that’s all that matters.

“As long as you do not see me with the Barcelona jersey, it’s because I’m in Manchester. It will always be rumours.”

Last month, Barca’s Gerard Pique exclusively told Express Sport he’d welcome Pogba to Barca.

Asked directly about Pogba’s saga with Mourinho, Pique admitted: “I know very little about what’s happening there [with Pogba and Mourinho]. It’s very private between them, their relationship.

“What I know is Pogba is a great player and he plays for Manchester United right now. We will see in the future if he wants to change clubs.

“We will be happy to have him here, obviously. We want the best players to be at Barcelona.

“But we respect Manchester United because it’s his club. Until he says something or the club says something, he’s a Manchester United player.” –

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