Leo Messi, Nusret Gökçe (Salt Bae) and Paul Pogba Image Credit: Instagram

Dubai: Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba set tongues wagging in Dubai on Friday after they were spotted dining together at Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et Turkish steak house at the Four Seasons Resort in Jumeirah.

Pogba has long been linked with a move away from struggling Manchester United to Messi’s Barcelona, and the body language in this picture seems to suggest that it’s that topic that’s back on the table ahead of the January transfer window.

The Frenchman, who started his career at United in 2011 before joining Juventus in 2012, rejoined the Red Devils in 2016 for a then world record €105 million (Dh440 million) transfer fee.

However, the English side have struggled under Jose Mourinho of late and with Pogba having recently lost his vice-captaincy it is thought his agent Mino Raiola is now trying to orchestrate a move to Spain.

United’s €225 million valuation of the player will surely get in the way, but it didn’t stop these unlikely dinner mates getting engrossed in conversation, possibly about being potential future teammates.

Both are in Dubai away from club duty because it’s an international break. Argentina’s Messi has been on a national team sabbatical since this summer’s World Cup in Russia, while Pogba – whose France side won the World Cup in July - has been excused from the latest squad on medical grounds.

Messi was also spotted in Legoland at Dubai Parks and Resorts with his son, pictured here in a series of tweets from Dubai Media Office and Dubai Sports Council, signing the guestbook.

While on holiday in Dubai Lionel Messi was also spotted with his family at Laguna Water Park in La Mer, Jumeirah, where he was pictured with Meraas officials Adel Ebrahim and Mohammad Al Malek.