Manchester United have been blindsided in their bid to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer.
Old Trafford chiefs will have to break the bank to land the Atletico Madrid hitman as he is expected to sign a £110millon deal with Barcelona on July 1.
But their biggest problem in luring the France World Cup star is that he still dreams of playing alongside his hero Lionel Messi.
Old Trafford bosses have tabled a £95million bid, and they will have to up their offer considerably to stand any chance of getting the 28-year-old.
Griezmann, who has a £200m buyout clause in his contract until June 30, almost signed for Barca in 2018.
A month of negotiations even included a phone call from Messi.
The Argentina legend told Griezmann how they would complement each other’s style.
Atletico then made him the highest paid player in their history, which put an end to that deal.
But with Messi 32 years of age, the belief in Barcelona is that Griezmann will not make the same mistake twice.
The France international joined Atletico from La Liga rivals Real Sociedad in 2014 and has scored 133 goals in 257 games for the club.
He made 48 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side in all competitions last season, netting 21 times and providing 10 assists, before announcing his intention to leave the club.
And chief executive Gil Marin has said that Griezmann will play at Barcelona next season, and claimed that a deal has been in place for months.
“We have known since March that Griezmann is going to Barcelona ,” he told a Spanish radio station on Wednesday night.