Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted that Manchester United will never be able to sign Lionel Messi despite their incredible commercial power.
As reported by The Telegraph, Bartomeu has insisted that, despite the Premier League being regarded as the biggest in Europe, the Catalans still have a greater income than any club in world football.
He's certainly adamant that Messi won't be departing the club, but has claimed that Manchester United, under the Louis van Gaal regime, are heading in the right direction.
SIGN UP NOW
Who should Man Utd sign this summer? Have your say by signing up now to become a GMS writer: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
The two sides, of course, go head-to-head in the US this evening, as they continue to get ready for the new season.
When asked whether Messi could leave the club for the likes of United, Bartomeu claimed: “Ha. No, no, no, no. Barcelona’s income this year has increased to more than €600 million [£425 million], which is a record and no other club in the world has as big an income as Barcelona.
“We work hard, we know that the competition is getting closer, with the Premier League, Real Madrid of course, but also PSG, Bayern Munich, Juventus. So we have to do our best and our best is trying to get as much income as possible so we can try to have the best players and we want them to be paid at the level they are.
“We know Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world,” Bartomeu said. “It’s a club that has always been very successful and they will be successful in the future because they are doing a nice project.
“You know that we know their coach, Louis van Gaal, very well. We know how strong, intelligent and clever he is, how he gets the best that is possible from his players, and United are going to be one of the top clubs this year, I’m sure.
Let's be honest, it will come as a major surprise if Louis van Gaal actually manages to lead Manchester United to European success in the upcoming season, but the Red Devils are starting to look like a force again.
Of course, they have it all to prove, but with the incredible talent now at the club, there's no reason why they won't be able to challenge on all fronts sooner rather than later. One thing's for sure, though, they won't be doing it with Lionel Messi in their side.
United fans: Can your side really win the Champions League this season? Have your say below!