Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson has said he is not keen on seeing Lionel Messi arrive in the Premier League.
Messi told FC Barcelona last week he wanted to leave and the two parties are in dispute over the terms of his contract.
A meeting held between Jorge Messi and FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu to try and resolve the future of Lionel Messi ended without an agreement. The meeting, held late on Wednesday night, finally took place at the end of a day in which Messi’s father — also considered to be his representative — replaced his son as the focus of attention after flying to Barcelona in the early hours of the morning.
Asked about the ongoing development, the Scotland captain, who has had one or two run-ins with Messi in the Champions League, had a humorous response for reporters: “I hope it doesn’t happen of course,” said Robertson as quoted by Sky Sports.
“From a completely selfish point of view I hope he stays at Barca. Look he’s one of, if not the best player ever to play the game, so for him to go to one of your nearest rivals is never a good sign!
“Liverpool have ruled out that they’re going to sign him so I don’t want him anywhere near the Premier League.
“If he comes to the Prem we’ll deal with it, it’d be great for the lads to play against him. I’ve played against him twice and they were the hardest games I’ve ever played.”
All Messi Senior told the press was that he knew “nothing” but that he believed it would be “difficult” for his son to remain at Barcelona, where he has spent the last 20 years.
That was apparently the position he maintained in his meeting lasting approximately an hour and a half with Bartomeu who, according the El Mundo Deportivo newspaper, offered to extend Messi’s contract — due to expire in June 2021 — until the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
That offer was rejected, with Jorge Messi insisting that his son’s current contract means he can leave Barcelona for free during the current transfer window. Barcelona continue to reject that interpretation and they and La Liga insist that Messi’s release clause of 700 million euros must be met if the player is to leave the club.
As if to underline its position, Barca launched its new first team kit for the 2020-21 season on Wednesday, with Messi taking pride of place in publicity photos and the club shop filled with Barcelona shirts with ‘Messi 10′ printed on the back.
The new La Liga season is due to kick off in Spain in nine days’ time, but this saga looks set to run for longer than that.