Barcelona are willing to offer Mason Greenwood the iconic shirt number previously worn by Lionel Messi in a bid to convince him to join them in the summer, according to reports. Greenwood is currently spending the season on loan at Getafe after being told that he no longer has a future at Manchester United.
The former England striker has been turning plenty of heads with his impressive form in Spain, chipping in with seven goal contributions in just 14 league appearances. Getafe want to sign him permanently at the end of the season but will face stiff competition from Barcelona in the race to snap him up, according to The Sun.
It is said that Barcelona are willing to offer up to £40million for Greenwood, who remains under contract at United until the summer of 2025. The Catalan giants will reportedly look to sweeten the deal by offering the 22-year-old the legendary No 10 shirt worn by Messi during his time at the Nou Camp.
The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner left Barcelona in the summer of 2021, after which his old shirt number was given to fellow La Masia graduate Ansu Fati. However, it has not had an owner since Fati joined Brighton on loan at the start of this season.
It remains to be seen if Barcelona will succeed in their efforts to sign Greenwood, with Getafe also eager to bring him to La Liga on a permanent basis. Club president Angel Corres has already underlined his desire to buy Greenwood when his loan deal expires but stopped short of naming a price that he would be willing to pay.
“We have talked about looking at the situation and seeing what they propose because there has also been a change of shareholding there at Manchester [United],” explained Corres earlier this month.
“But we are still happy with the meetings and with the video conferences we have with them. It is still too early to consider either continuing for one more season or that they will propose a price and we will commit the whole [of the contract] because we have a percentage and to buy the rest.
“I believe a lot [in Greenwood]. From here, we continue to work periodically, we continue to meet with Manchester to see if they are happy. The truth is that they are happy with the treatment, not only from the fans of Getafe, but also from the whole of Spain. Now we have to keep on defending him.”
Greenwood was loaned to Getafe after charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm were dropped in February. United went on to conduct their own internal investigation, after which they decided to ship him out in response to backlash from fans, women’s support groups and members of staff.