Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho feels there is little chance Lionel Messi will become available in the transfer market and hopes the Argentina international will remain at Barcelona until the end of his career.
Recent reports from Spain suggested Messi is hesitant to renew his contract at Camp Nou – with his current deal due to expire in 2018 – fuelling speculation he could leave Barca.
Manchester City are believed to be keeping a close eye on the 29-year-old’s situation, while United could also join the race for his signature, but Mourinho thinks it is unlikely Messi will ever play in the Premier League.
“It is the same story with Messi every season. The papers always claim he is leaving, but it never happens in the end,” Mourinho said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“Honestly, I hope he never leaves because he belongs to Barcelona and Barcelona belong to him.
“The natural thing and beautiful thing would be for him to stay and finish his career at Barcelona.
“I think he will be staying at Barcelona, but that is just a personal opinion.
“For Man United, I am absolutely sure he won’t come.”
Mourinho also told reporters ahead of his side’s Europa League meeting with Feyenoord that United will take up the option of extending Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stay at the club by another year.