Man United are said to have approached Messi's representatives about a potential transfer this summer but face competition from rivals Man City as well as interest from abroad
Wayne Rooney has backed Lionel Messi to complete a switch to Man United and tipped him to claim a record seventh Ballon d'Or.
The Barcelona captain is desperate to move on this summer after requesting his contract at the Nou Camp be terminated.
United have reportedly entered the running for the forward's signature alongside closest rivals Man City and the likes of PSG, Inter Milan and interest from MLS sides.
Representatives from United are said to have made contact with Messi's agent father, Jorge, according to beIN Sports journalist Tancredi Palmeri.
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And Rooney believes the 33-year-old can light up the Premier League like he has done for Barca, even in spite of his advancing years.
“I know he's getting older but he's a player who no one has seen before,” Rooney told talkSPORT .
“Messi has everything – he can create goals, score goals, dictates the game and is the best player of all time.
“He's one of the only players I've sat there and watched and been in awe.
“Him and Cristiano Ronaldo have set a standard which I don't think we will ever see again but, for me, Messi is just different level."
A move to Man City seems a more likely destination for Messi over United given his relationship with Pep Guardiola.
Messi's decision is far from certain though, with PSG and Inter both possessing the capabilities to finance a deal.
Rooney is insistent though that the Barca talisman should remain in Europe and not even consider the same move he made to MLS.
“The United States shouldn't be in his mindset at all because he's too good for that level,' Rooney added. "He is miles too good for that level."
“He could come to the Premier League and be a Player of the Year. One million per cent.
“If he surrounds himself with Kevin De Bruyne, with Bruno Fernandes, these types of players, he could win a seventh Ballon d'Or.”