One per PL club: Reasons why they shouldn’t sign Messi

Matt Stead

Forget Chelsea or Manchester City: what should put Brighton, Newcastle and West Brom off signing Lionel Messi from Barcelona?


They cannot possibly justify spending gargantuan wages on a trophy-hoarding South American free agent in his 30s, while simultaneously planning to make 55 non-playing staff redundant. That would be remarkably dense.


Having signed Louie Barry in January, they might feel a little uneasy poaching Barcelona’s two best players in less than a year. No-one wants a reputation for bullying smaller sides.


Messi famously sent a burofax to the Amex in May 2019 that simply read: ‘Tener cuidado con lo que deseas.’ He is still not over the decision to sack Chris Hughton.


The only non-British or Irish players to feature for Burnley last season were Chris Wood (309 appearances for previous nine English clubs), Erik Pieters (has Stoke badge tattooed on right buttock), Matej Vydra (created in a laboratory designed to figure out the Championship’s inner workings) and Johann Berg Gudmundsson (played in England since 2014). Plus the constant Falklands banter from Phil Bardsley might be a bit much.


Does he really need a loan move to Vitesse at his age?


He isn’t a defensive midfielder.


“Z-Cars is bobbins and DCI Charlie Barlow can kiss my shiny fourth Ballon d’Or,” said Messi during a no-holds-barred interview in 2018. That merchandise might forever go unsold.


made a decent fist of fighting their case but is he really going to want to warm the bench behind Anthony Knockaert on a diet of League Cup games and five-minute substitute cameos?


Putting together a team and a player who have terrible memories of facing Bayern Munich is inadvisable if Marcelo Bielsa is to right the wrongs of 1975.


Brendan Rodgers has signed the best 33-year-old in the world to a lucrative contract already this week. Jamie Vardy will still be peeling off the shoulder of the last defender when Dean Gaffney finally stars in his Hollywood biopic in 2061.


Messi is going nowhere near Anfield ever again. At least not until Andy Robertson apologises and James Milner admits he really is a domesticated member of the horse family, Equidae.


The financial ramifications involved in a £631.3m buyout clause, as well as an extravagant contract and extortionate image rights that bring the sum total investment over three years to almost £900m, must be avoided by a club only recently absolved of a serious breach of FFP regulations, and whose fiscal actions are subsequently under even greater scrutiny than usual.

And imagine how disappointing it would be if he and Kevin de Bruyne didn’t score and assist 427 goals every game. You can sometimes have too much of a good thing.


Ed Woodward.


The economy is not ready for the entire Newcastle fanbase to collectively discard every item of clothing above the waist in permanent celebration of signing the natural successor to Christian Bassedas, nor is any species of police horse prepared to accept the inevitable physical consequences of such unbridled excitement.


Does Messi look like the kind of person who has ever encountered a gallon of Magnet, a packet of Woodbines, a good pinch of snuff or a greasy chip butty in his sheltered existence?


Football law dictates he has to at least join Celtic for a bit first.


Daniel Levy’s offer of £2m, Serge Aurier and a private cheese room will naturally tempt Barcelona, but his decision to wait until ten minutes before the transfer deadline to open negotiations might prove fatal to their hopes. It’s a shame, because he could have elevated them to fifth favourites for the title and would have plenty of Argentinean mates to constantly undermine Jose Mourinho with.


If Serge Gnabry wasn’t good enough to make it at The Hawthorns, the fella that watched him score while beating his team 8-2 can’t hope to get a game ahead of Matt Phillips.


The moment the greatest footballer of this or any generation is made to cross his arms and profess his undying love for bubbles, while David Gold posts a picture of Joe Allen on social media to welcome him, is the point at which we should all just pack it in and call it a day.


Not a Jorge Mendes client? Sorry, pal. Them’s the breaks.

Matt Stead