Photo by Jan Kruger - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Andy Robertson hopes Messi stays away from PL amid Man City interest

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has given his opinion regarding the greatest player in the history of football potentially joining the Premier League and the Scotsman’s message is loud and clear – he doesn’t want him anywhere near it.

Barcelona’s Argentinian striker Lionel Messi (L) vies with Liverpool’s Scottish defender Andrew Robertson during the UEFA Champions league semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on May 7, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Indeed, he took a humorous tone when admitting the prospect of Lionel Messi joining Manchester City was a scary one given that Pep Guardiola’s team currently oppose the greatest threat to Liverpool’s upcoming title defence.

Messi recently shocked the world of football after informing his boyhood club Barcelona that he wanted to leave, and has been heavily linked with a sensational move to the Etihad Stadium after City were deemed the ‘top candidate‘ to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

And amid the growing speculation and unsavoury civil war currently engulfed at the Camp Nou, Robertson is keen for the Argentinian superstar to remain in La Liga next season.

BBC Sport report that Messi has handed in a transfer request and is seeking to have his contract cancelled.

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Guardiola’s team have already recruited Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres in an attempt to once again push Liverpool in their bid to reclaim the Premier League next season, and the purchasing of a player whose origin of planet remains unknown given his footballing genius would undoubtedly aid them in that quest.

Robertson has faced Messi on two occasions which had contrasting repercussions yet the 26-year-old left-back conceded that both encounters were the most difficult of his career to date.

The prospect of a third reunion taking place in the Premier League next season is one Robertson is unsurprisingly keen to avoid.

“From a completely selfish point of view I hope it doesn’t happen, hopefully, he stays at Barca,” the Scotland captain said when asked about the possibility of Messi playing in the English top flight.

“He’s one of, if not the best player to ever play the game so for him to go to one of your nearest rivals is probably never a good sign. He’s a fantastic player, I’ve no doubt if he came to the Premier League he’d bring the exact same quality, the same passion and everything he brings at Barca.

“I think Liverpool have ruled out that we are going to sign him, so for me, I don’t want him anywhere near the Premier League and hopefully it stays that way, but we’ll wait and see what happens with that.

“Obviously you can see the uncertainty at Barca, I think everyone can see that, and hopefully they get it resolved. If he comes to the Prem we’ll deal with it, it’ll be great for the lads to play against him.

“I’ve played against him twice and it’s the hardest games I’ve ever played, so you need to stay on watch against him at all times, he can pop up out of nowhere.

“He’s a fantastic player, probably the best to ever play the game but hopefully he stays in Spain for me.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks dejected as the scoreboard reads ‘4-0’ during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

Although we share Robertson’s opinion that Messi joining Liverpool’s closest rivals cannot be a good thing we also believe it isn’t a prospect that Kopites should draw too much attention to.

Despite an 18-point chasm between the two teams last season, within seconds of Messi’s reported arrival at the Etihad Stadium, all of the media attention will be on Pep Guardiola’s team to cruise to the title next season.

Liverpool in effect will go straight back under the radar into a position they utilised to their advantage last season.

City with Messi will be lauded and paraded as overwhelming favourites despite Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool’s procession to a 19th league title last season.

Also, it will completely derail the City’s wage structure given that Messi’s current contract sees him take home £1 million per week at Barcelona, The Times reported.

To match this would require a quite stupendous outlay even for Manchester City.

Where a move could backfire would be if Messi stayed at the Etihad for 1-2 years, did not win anything, and the club’s resources were left in ruins.

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