Former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Emmanuel Petit has warned Manchester United and Manchester City against signing Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi.
Messi is unsettled in Barcelona after the recent public spat between him and sporting director Eric Abidal over the sacking of former coach Ernesto Valverde. Valverde was shown the door after a spate of poor results.
The six-time world player has now been linked with a summer move away from the Catalan club. Manchester United, Manchester City, and Juventus are all said to be monitoring Messi’s situation in Barcelona with the aim of making a move for his services.
Petit, however, has warmed the two EPL sides against signing the Argentine superstar who is regarded as one of the best players in history.
According to Petit who played for Arsenal and Barcelona, Messi lacks the physicality required to play in the Premier League and will struggle should he complete a switch to either Manchester United or their city rivals Manchester City.
“Honestly, I don’t think he’s suited to the intensity of England. He doesn’t like being closed down and being fought. In Spain, he’s protected. It would be a pleasure for English fans to see him but I don’t see why a club like Manchester City , for example, would move for Messi at 32 or 33,” he said.
“If City wanted to buy him, they should have tried to do it a couple of years ago. Messi is not Cristiano Ronaldo. Physically, he’s not the same machine”.
“Ronaldo is a monster but, at 32, Messi has only one or two more years playing at the highest level. Even playing alongside great players at Barca, he won’t have the same pace or the dribbling ability. I’m sure he knows the end is not far away,” Petit added.
Messi had earlier reiterated his desire to retire in Catalonia.