Juan Mata hopes it’s up to United and not City if Lionel Messi comes to Manchester, but he doesn’t pay too much attention to the trade speculation surrounding the six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or.
As he enters the final months of his current deal, Messi is closely connected with a move away from Barcelona.
In the summer transfer window, the 33-year-old attempted to build a way out of Camp Nou only to find his exit blocked by officials from Blaugrana and La Liga.
During an exclusive interview with Goal, the Argentine finally announced that he will stay put for another season, but also admitted that he no longer thinks that Barca will contend at the very highest level for top trophies.
Messi was proved correct at the start of the La Liga campaign 2020-21, which for 30 years has been Barca’s worst with success on the stage of the Champions League category for Ronald Koeman’s side doing nothing more than papering over the cracks.
With current Camp Nou interim president Carles Tusquets insisting the club will be better off financially without Messi, Manchester City, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain have been tipped to try and tempt the superstar away from Catalonia next year.
Because of Pep Guardiola’s involvement at Etihad Stadium, City has been mooted as the most likely next destination for Messi, but Mata would much prefer to see a man considered one of the best players in history-making his way to Old Trafford.
Well, I hope not—I hope not for my club’s improvement,” said the Manchester United midfielder of rumors connecting Argentina star, with City while speaking in his role as Laureus’ ambassador. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I hope he doesn’t go there. I hope it’s my club and not the other one if he comes to Manchester.
For starters, there were rumors that Cristiano Ronaldo would be coming back to Manchester in the future. In professional football, one of the things I learned is that you can concentrate on what you can manage and forget about what you can’t.
Messi played the entire 90 minutes of Barca’s 2-1 shock loss at Cadiz on Saturday, leaving them 12 points behind the current Atletico Madrid Liga leaders.
Mata, meanwhile, came on during United’s 3-1 victory at West Ham this weekend as a second-half substitution and provided Marcus Rashford with an assist to round off the scoring.