Man Utd given boost in six club race for ‘new Lionel Messi’

Will Ford
Thiago Almada Velez Sarsfield Man Utd

Manchester United have received a boost in their pursuit of Velez Sarsfield star Thiago Almada, with a board member of the Argentine outfit admitting “there’s no way to hold him”.

The versatile 19-year-old has scored five goals and provided two assists in 25 appearances before the coronavirus-enforced cancellation of the domestic season in Argentina.

Almada’s displays have also earned him comparisons to Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and Manchester City’s David Silva.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are reportedly one of six clubs looking to lure the teenager to Europe this summer.

Manchester City, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan are all said to have registered their interest in the Argentina Under-20 international.

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward had made initial contact with Velez Sarsfield and the player’s representatives in a bid to find an agreement of around £16million.

And now the Red Devils chief has received a timely boost after a member of the club’s board admitted they are powerless to stop Almada from leaving and confirmed various offers were on the table.

“There’s no way to hold him. To all the offers that are seen in the media, add one from the local market and two from Italy,” the board member told ESPN, reports the Daily Express.

“We’re going to wait for the market to open so that we know what is real and who’s asking, and we’ll be as serious at the negotiating table as we have been since this administration began.”