Lionel Messi
Lionel MessiReuters

Manchester United are preparing a lucrative deal in signing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at the end of the season, according to the Metro.

United chiefs showed the exit door to David Moyes on Tuesday, with Ryan Giggs taking the role of interim manager for the remaining fixtures for this season. The Red Devils are yet to appoint a successor for the former Everton boss.

Despite United's poor form and not having a manager, the club has already started working on their summer transfer plans. The report claims the Red Devils' owners, the Glazers, are looking to bring in a world-class player to Old Trafford in the upcoming transfer window.

The Metro claims Messi is on United's wish list of new signings as they are considering a sensational swoop in landing the Argentine international. The four-time Ballon D'or winner has seen a dip in his performance, with fitness and numerous injuries having hampered his form this season.

The 26-year-old has managed 26 goals and 10 assists in the league this season. His form dropped compared to the last two seasons, where he bagged 50 goals in the league during 2011/12 before adding 46 goals to his name in the league in the previous campaign.

Barcelona are also struggling under Gerardo Martino this season. The Catalan club were knocked out of the Champions League quarter finals by Atletico Madrid, before losing the Copa del Rey final to arch rivals Real Madrid earlier this month.

United suffered a 2-0 defeat against Everton and the result has seen the Old Trafford club miss out on next season's Champions League. Without European football, it would be difficult for the Red Devils to lure Messi in the summer.

The Old Trafford club could face competition from their neighbours Manchester City in signing the Argentine star. The Mirror reports that the Citizens are also in the race to sign Messi in the coming transfer window.

Messi is growing disillusioned with life at Camp Nou as he believes that he is no longer considered as an asset to the club. With the player reportedly being unhappy at Barcelona, United and City could make an approach in signing the Argentine star in the summer.