Balague comments on Manchester City's Messi transfer chances, suggests alternative United won't like

Lionel Messi 2

Spanish football expert says Manchester City unlikely to snag Messi but could go for Neymar - a target for Manchester United.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has told SkySports that he does not believe Lionel Messi will move to Manchester City.

The Argentine has been at Barcelona his entire career to date, and is valued as the world's most expensive footballer.

The Manchester Evening News speculated last month that Manchester City were plotting a record offer in the summer for the Argentine, with goalkeeper Willy Caballero explaining his confidence the club have the financial power to pull it off.

Balague believes it is easier said than done and does not expect Messi to move, instead suggesting Barcelona teammate Neymar as a big name alternative.

He said: "The big attraction at Manchester City is the fact it's developing into something that is huge, they have three or four clubs around the world, the brand is growing, if they manage to get Guardiola, they've got it.

"Next is to have a player or icon on the same level to make the whole plan work, and that's Messi. They are trying but I don't think it's going to work. Neymar is also a possibility."

Manchester United upset

City signing Lionel Messi would clearly be devastating for Manchester United and the rest of the Premier League, but going for Neymar would impact on their own rumoured transfer plans.

The Red Devils are desperate for a big name forward, with French outlet Le10Sport one of many to report this week that they will consider activating his release clause in the summer, which stands at a huge £140 million. 

Both clubs can afford to spend the money, but Neymar's willingness to move is another matter. For United, losing out on him is one thing, but missing out to City would be a nightmare scenario.

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch