Sky Sports pundit and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has revealed that he was not keen on the prospect of Lionel Messi joining Anfield this summer and that he would have preferred the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to join Manchester City instead.
Messi, 33, recently shocked the world after publically handing in a transfer request to leave Barcelona [BBC] only to retract his desire to leave weeks later following an exclusive interview from the Argentina captain and Goal.
Pep Guardiola was reportedly said to be keen on the prospect of linking up with the global superstar whom he enjoyed two Champions League successes with following his four-year spell as Barcelona manager.
A disagreement between Messi and the club hierarchy caused major controversy after the player’s desire to leave were blocked after a €700 million (£624m) release clause attached to Messi’s contract blocked any potential path towards an exit and he has since retracted his determination to leave the Camp Nou as he didn’t want to take his beloved team to court.
Former Liverpool defender turned pundit Carragher was one of the many hopefuls that City would sign Messi as he didn’t deem the four-time Champions League-winning forward as a good fit for the Reds when considering the player’s age and the financial complications that would completely disrupt Liverpool’s well-attuned wage structure.
Carragher said: “If you are asking me as a lover of football if I wanted Messi to come to the Premier League then absolutely, yes.
“Did I want him to go to Man City? Yes, because I just wanted him in the Premier League.
“I wanted to watch him every week – and it would have been amazing.
“Did I want Liverpool to sign him? No. If I was a City fan, would I have wanted City to sign him? No.
“Standing back and looking at the numbers involved and the age of the player, I am not sure I would have wanted my team to sign him.
“I wanted Messi in the Premier League and if he had gone to City I would have been delighted. Would he have made City better? Of course.
“But Liverpool still beat Barcelona 4-0 – and Barcelona didn’t win the league this year and have not won the Champions League for a long time.
“We are talking about one of the greatest players, but just because you get him there is no guarantee of success.”
What RTK has to say
Carragher is absolutely spot-on.
As we recently pointed out, Messi joining City could have been an ideal scenario for Liverpool – hear us out.
Having the best player in the history of the game opposes immediate complications and financial ramifications.
For one, the signing of Messi could 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.
Kevin de Bruyne is currently City’s top earner with a £350,000-a-week pay packet – according to Spotrac – yet Messi’s wages would see him take home almost three times that amount.
Also, City signing Messi would have immediately taken the media attention off of Liverpool regarding the status as favourites for the title next season.
The reigning Premier League champions will in effect will go straight back under the radar into a position they utilised to their advantage last season.
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