Chelsea and Liverpool fighting to sign their own ‘Lionel Messi’

Potter hails Chelsea's character after beating Dortmund

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Chelsea and Liverpool have been told they could sign their very own Lionel Messi after reportedly targeting Brighton sensation Alex Mac Allister. Premier League clubs are apparently circling ahead of a summer move for the World Cup winner. 

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has given a potential move the seal of approval by comparing Mac Allister to legendary forward Messi. The pair were both key to Argentina’s World Cup triumph in December. 

Keown believes that Mac Allister’s technical ability means he can play anywhere in midfield. The ex-England man gushed about the playmaker and Brighton’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League. 

“Mac Allister is almost their (Brighton’s) little Messi, really,” Keown said. Speaking on talkSPORT, he added: “He could play anywhere: at the foot of midfield, the top of midfield, his interchange of play, his technique, his quality – we knew it was always there. They signed him on a new contract before the World Cup, it just gets better and better. Yes they can make it into fourth place.”

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Mac Allister’s new contract means that he will have two years remaining come the summer. However, wide-ranging reports suggest Brighton have the option to extend the 24-year-old’s deal by an extra 12 months. 

That places the Seagulls in an excellent negotiating position ahead of the summer transfer window. They are set to demand a huge fee from interested clubs. 

Chelsea and Liverpool have been widely linked with the former Santa Rosa-born ace. CBS Sports report that Manchester United and Manchester City have both discussed signing Mac Allister. 

The player himself has admitted that he wants to remain in the Premier League and listed several clubs whose style of play he fits. “I don’t have a particular team where I say ‘this is the way I play’. I think that here in the Premier League there are very strong teams that play very well, like Manchester City and Arsenal,” he told TyC Sports. 

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“Chelsea too. I had [Graham] Potter [as my manager at Brighton] and I know the idea he has to play football. Manchester United is returning to be what it was and Liverpool are going through some ups and downs but they still have a very important team.

“If I have to say a place, I would like my next step to be in the Premier League. But the truth is that I am very focused here in Brighton and enjoying the present.”

Brighton are seven points off fourth in the Premier League. They managed to fend off a £70million bid from Arsenal for midfielder Moises Caicedo in the January transfer window. 

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