Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho seems to have started playing mind games with Lionel Messi. The Barcelona forward has been linked with an exit from Camp Nou as contract negotiations continue. Premier League club Manchester City are reportedly interested in signing the player.
Manchester United faces Feyenoord in the Europa League group stage clash on Thursday at Old Trafford. When asked about his opinion of chasing Messi for his services in the upcoming transfer window, Mourinho voiced out his opinion.
“Lionel Messi, every season it is the same story. He’s going to leave and he never leaves. Honestly, I hope he never leaves because he belongs to Barcelona and Barcelona belongs to him. I think he will be staying at Barcelona. That is just a personal opinion.” Mourinho said in the pre-match press conference, as reported by Mail Online.
The Portuguese could be playing mind games with the Argentina international. If Messi leaves Barcelona, he could end up at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola, former Blaugrana manager is the current boss at the Etihad stadium.
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Manchester City and United are one of the biggest rivals in the Premier League. A transfer of such magnitude could shift the balance of the league towards the blue half of Manchester for a long time.
Hence, this could be a ploy from the 53-year-old to convince Messi to stay at Camp Nou and not consider any move away from the club. Mourinho has admired the five-time Ballond’Or winner in his previous press conferences. He believes that it would be a “beautiful thing” for the player to “stay and finish his career at Barcelona.”
Jose Mourinho wants extended stay at Manchester United
Manchester United have failed to live up to the standards expected of them this season until now. The Red Devils head into the Europa League game against Feyenoord at Old Trafford with three straight home draws under their belt.
However, Mourinho stressed that he is calm and is considering to stay beyond his three year contract at Old Trafford. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager has indicated the rebuilding of the team as a step-by-step process and he is in the beginning of it, according to Mirror.
“If you ask me if I want to stay longer than 3 years then I say yes I would love it but also I have to earn and deserve that. If the club feels I deserve to stay then I will be very very proud.” Mourinho said.
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