Arsenal FC boss Arsene Wenger has backed FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi to win the Balon d’Or ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, whilst also revealing work permit issues stalling Mohamed Elneny’s transfer to the Emirates.

With the Balon d’Or ceremony taking place later in the day, Arsenal FC boss Arsene Wenger has backed Argentine superstar Lionel Messi to win the gong ahead of Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Wenger backs Messi for gong

Citing the all conquering campaign of FC Barcelona as the main reason and Messi being the most influential player in the run, Wenger has backed the Argentine to win the award.

He was quoted saying by the official Arsenal FC website and Goal.com ahead of the Liverpool FC tie: a It is certainly Messi who will win it, although Iai??i??m not a big fan of it (Balon d’Or).

a It has to be a Barcelona player, when you pick a Barcelona player, it is certainly Messi.a

Wenger also went on to add that he is not a big fan of the Balon d’Or due to the nature of the game being team oriented.

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Wenger confident of Elneny transfer despite work permit issues

The transfer of FC Basel’s Mohamed Elneny has been held up due to work permit issues. The 23 year old Egypt international already has 39 caps to his name, and Wenger is confident that the deal will be completed this week.

He was quoted saying by Sky Sports: “I expect Mohamed yes, we are positive that this week it can happen.

“The situation should be sorted out. There are a lot of work permit problems and special paperwork to do, (the) visa, so we hope we can finalise it this week.

“As long as it is not definitely signed, you have to be cautious, but I am optimistic about the case.”