It stands to reason that Adidas wants to see results at Manchester United. The sportswear company is, after all, paying the English football club £75 million per season for an association and kit manufacturing deal. At the beginning of the month, Adidas chief executive Herbet Heiner even went on record, suggesting that, while he was satisfied with the Manchester United branding deal, the club's "current playing style" wasn't exactly what his company would have hoped for this year.

Heiner's comments resonated with Man United fans, who continue to support the club despite what has been deemed a "boring" play style. Current manager Louis van Gaal, along with a soccer squad that has no clear or undisputed star, are both factors that have been blamed for a sleepy season at Old Trafford.

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Adidas Wanting to Make Changes at Manchester United?

But could Adidas influence more than kit design at Manchester United? With a £75-million-per-year interest in the soccer club, it stands to reason that Adidas would want to do everything in their power to transform Manchester United back into a powerhouse organization. With Premier League or Champions League victories, the Red Devils would quickly return to their previous levels of glory. In turn, that resurgence would help Adidas improve their return on investment-an important consideration since their kit manufacturing contract with United is a 10-year deal.

So how would Adidas change Man United to suit their goals and preferences? The major rumours floating around are that the sportswear firm wants to bankroll deals to bring both Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi to Old Trafford.

Messi and Guardiola to Old Trafford

From a shirt-selling perspective, it's easy to see why Adidas want Messi at Manchester United. The United deal is the biggest kit manufacturing deal in Adidas' catalogue-and the biggest in the world, for that matter. However, Nike still have the biggest selling football jersey in the world, with Messi's Barcelona kits. A Messi version of the Manchester United home jersey 2015/16 would obviously be a hot commodity and would help Adidas make a lot of money very quickly.

From a football perspective, the prospect of Messi and Guardiola coming to England is highly exciting as well. Guardiola, who will step down as Bayern Munich manager at the conclusion of the 2015/16 season, has a nearly spotless title record from his time coaching at Bayern and Barca. There have also been rumours that Messi wants to leave Spain, due to continued persecution at the hands of tax authorities.

If Adidas can entice Guardiola and Messi to come to Old Trafford, it would be one of the most notable reunions in recent soccer history. Pep previously coached Leo at Barcelona from 2008 to 2012. In those four seasons, the pair managed three La Liga titles, two Champions League wins, and one treble. Messi also won the Ballon d'Or Award in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, so clearly his partnership with Guardiola was a positive one. While an Adidas bankroll would likely mean a big transfer fee and a huge salary for Messi, the thought of working with Guardiola again would probably be the more likely factor to lure him away from Barcelona.

The Rumours: Substantial or Hogwash?

The clear question here is how many grains of salt to take with these rumours. Obviously, United want Messi and Guardiola. Even with Adidas financing or subsidizing the deals, though, they might not be terribly likely to come to pass. Messi just won the Ballon d'Or for a fifth time and is contracted with FC Barcelona until 2018. Barca won't likely sell their spring chicken, for any price.

A Guardiola bid is more likely to be successful for the Red Devils. Recent talk in the football media suggests that Pep could move to Manchester City this summer-and that if the Sky Blues do nab the coveted manager, they will leave their crosstown rivals behind. But with Van Gaal probably on the verge of being sacked and Adidas potentially willing to help cover the costs, it's clear that United are ready to fight City for the chance to hire Guardiola.

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