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The Red Devils midfielder doesn’t want the Barcelona superstar heading to the Etihad Stadium next year
Juan Mata hopes that if Lionel Messi comes to Manchester it will be United and not City, but he is not paying much attention to the transfer rumors surrounding the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi is strongly linked to a move away from Barcelona as he approaches the final months of his current contract.
The 33-year-old tried to fabricate a Camp Nou exit in the summer transfer window only to find his exit blocked by Blaugrana and La Liga officials.
The Argentine finally announced that he would stay one more season during an exclusive interview with objective, but he also admitted that he no longer feels that Barça can compete for the best trophies at the highest level.
Messi has been proven correct at the start of the 2020-21 La Liga campaign, which has been Barca’s worst in 30 years, with the progress of the Champions League group stage for Ronald Koeman’s team making little more than plugging the cracks.
Manchester City, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain have all been put forward to try and push the Catalan superstar away next year, and current Camp Nou president Carles Tusquets insisted the club would be better off financially without Messi.
City have been proposed as the most likely next destination for Messi due to the presence of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, but Mata would rather see a man regarded as one of the greatest players in history at Old Trafford.
“Well, I hope not, I hope it is not for the improvement of my club,” said the Manchester United midfielder about the rumors linking the Argentine international with City while speaking in his role as ambassador for the Laureus. “I don’t know what will happen, but I hope I don’t go there. If he comes to Manchester I hope it is to my club and not to the other.
“There were rumors, for example, that Cristiano Ronaldo could return to Manchester in the future. One of the things that I realized in professional football is that you have to focus on what you can control and forget about what you can’t. “
Messi played all 90 minutes of Barça’s surprising 2-1 loss in Cádiz on Saturday, putting them 12 points behind current La Liga leaders Atlético de Madrid.
Mata, meanwhile, came on as a substitute in the second half during United’s 3-1 win at West Ham this weekend and provided an assist to Marcus Rashford to complete the score.