LIVERPOOL (Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says he would be interested in adding Barcelona captain Lionel Messi to his Premier League-winning squad but there is no chance it would happen because of the astronomical amount of money involved.
Messi stunned world soccer earlier this week when he expressed his desire to leave Barcelona after nearly two decades with the Catalan club.
When asked if he would like to bring the Argentine forward to Anfield, Klopp said: “Interest? Yeah, who doesn’t want Messi in their team. The numbers are absolutely not for us. We don’t even start thinking about it. No chance! But… good player.”
A study by French newspaper L’Equipe earlier this year said Messi earns 8.2 million euros per month from Barca, way more than Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris St Germain striker Neymar, who earn 4.5 million and 3 million respectively.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who finished 18 points behind champions Liverpool last season, appear to be the favourites to sign the six-times world player of the year who has won every major title with Barcelona.
Some of Messi’s best moments on the Camp Nou pitch came under the guidance of former Barca coach Guardiola.
“It would make it even more difficult to beat them (City) which was already very difficult,” Klopp told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Community Shield clash with FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley.
“For the Premier League, it would be great having the best player in the world in the league. I’m not sure the Premier League needs a boost but it would be.
“It would be interesting too because Messi has never played in another league apart from Spain. I would like to see it but I’m not sure if I will.”
Both sets of players will take a knee at Wembley in support of the Black Lives matter campaign which has again been in the news after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday — an incident that has provoked widespread protests in sports across the U.S.
“I’ve followed it in America, racism, Black Lives Matter, all these things, dealing with it all will stay with us for a long time,” Klopp said. “As long as people don’t really get or understand it, we have to mention equality.”
Klopp confirmed centre back Virgil van Dijk is fit to face Arsenal after recovering from a head injury sustained during Liverpool’s pre-season friendly with RB Salzburg.
“He looks not good because he has the cut there, but apart from that it should be fine,” Klopp added.
Jordan Henderson is also set to play but Trent Alexander-Arnold may miss out because of injury. “Trent’s very close but we have to make a decision about him tomorrow,” Klopp said.
With the transfer window open until October, Klopp said Liverpool would “look constantly for improvement” but is satisfied with the size of his squad.
“We will see how much we can and want to spend,” he said.