The four-time Ballon d'Or winner has enjoyed success with Di Maria with Argentina and maintains a close relationship with him. They are both currently enjoying a training camp with the national side in the USA, possibly inspiring the suggestion that Messi wants to save his team-mate from Manchester United.
Having joined the Red Devils for a British record fee of £59.7million last summer, Di Maria has failed to impress under the stewardship of Louis van Gaal. To add to that, an attempted break in at his home forced his family to move out of their new home and unsettled Di Maria.
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Struggles at Old Trafford
He has since lost his place in the starting line-up and appeared from the bench against Liverpool last weekend. His cameo appearance did not stop Manchester United winning 2-1, but did little to increase his reputation.
Di Maria was reportedly berated by Van Gaal in the away dressing room after the final whistle for not pulling his weight. It led to more suggestions that he would be sold in the summer.
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Messi has seen the struggles that Di Maria has undergone and has put it to Nou Camp officials that it could be good chance to sign him. Having previously played for Real Madrid, it was inconceivable that he would join Barcelona, but there is now a distinct possibility of a deal.
The transfer embargo
There is, however, a big problem. Barcelona are still suffering from the transfer embargo imposed on them by Fifa. They are not allowed to register any new players until 2016, but are still allowed to negotiate transfer deals when the summer window reopens.
Not only that, but it is suggested in the same report that Manchester United vice chairman would seek to regain every penny they invested in Di Maria despite the fact he is a year older and his reputation has fallen significantly.
But what Messi wants, he usually gets. He has power over the Barcelona board that not even manager Luis Enrique can equal.
However, not even Messi can force Barcelona into spending a huge amount of money on a player who cannot play for them in the first half of next season. Realistically, they would have to wait until January to bid for Di Maria by which time he could have already left.
PSG remain interested in the 27-year-old after being forced to pull out of a deal to sign him because of financial fair play restrictions. A move to the French capital may well be Di Maria's preferred option anyway.
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