It’s the nature of the football rumour mill that the biggest names in the sport are sure to appear in transfer speculation, even if moves are unlikely. But in the past few months, there have actually been some interesting ideas about both Lionel Messi and Neymar possibly moving to Manchester in the summer.

The rumours appear to be a little more worthwhile this time around, given that both United and City are likely to have new managers in place. And if, as expected, those new managers are José Mourinho (reportedly on board at United) and Pep Guardiola (already lined up to take over at City), they’ll be looking to make some big splashes in the transfer market.

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Unfortunately, however, Guardiola’s agreement with City could give the club an edge in chasing both Barca stars. A story at Bwin News took a look at a possible starting XI at the Etihad under Guardiola’s direction, and it suggests that the two biggest acquisition rumours will indeed be Messi and Neymar.

Previously, we’d heard some very interesting chatter regarding both players’ potential attachment to United. Reports recently revealed that United threw a lucrative offer Barca’s way to obtain Neymar last summer. And there was also a curious idea floating around before Guardiola agreed to terms with City that Adidas had hoped to unite the coach with Messi at Old Trafford (given that Adidas sponsors the team and both players).

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However, Guardiola will naturally have some inroads with his former club, and it’s perfectly conceivable that Messi in particular would entertain the idea of a reunion. The two have always given the outward appearance of being on very good terms, and if Messi is ever going to leave Barca, this might be his most appealing opportunity to do so.

The most interesting scenario may end up being the Barcelona stars splitting up on either side of Manchester, with Neymar at Old Trafford. But as for right now, it’s all still speculation. Stay tuned.