Javier Tebas has outlined his desire to keep Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos in Spain as LaLiga’s president once again aimed a swipe at Manchester City.
Messi pushed to leave Barcelona during the previous transfer window, with the 33-year-old citing frustrations with the board as he made clear his desire to move on.
Pep Guardiola’s City were heavily linked with the Argentina international, but Messi eventually elected to see out the remainder of his contract at Camp Nou, staying until at least the end of the 2020-21 season.
Tebas once more reiterated his wish to see Messi remain in LaLiga, though he does not believe the competition will be significantly worse off should the Barca forward move on.
“We would prefer Messi to stay in La Liga but Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar left and we haven’t noticed any difference,” said Tebas, who went on to criticise City over how they go about their business.
“It seems the only club in Premier League that talks about registering Messi is Manchester City, who compete outside the rules. I am not the only one saying this.
“I am not too worried about them. I have criticised what they do so many times. Doing it one more time makes no difference.
“City is neither affected by COVID or pandemics or anything because they are financed differently and it is impossible to fight against that.”
1 – In Spain under Luis Enrique, Sergio Ramos is the player with the most:
Appearances – 16
Minutes played – 1154
Wins – 9
Goals scored – 9
Shots attempted – 37
Passes attempted – 1328
Duels won – 64
Recoveries – 84
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 16, 2020
Also out of contract at the end of the campaign is Real Madrid captain Ramos, who overtook Gianluigi Buffon to become the most capped European footballer when he played for the 177th time for Spain in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Switzerland, during which the defender missed two penalties.
Ramos cancelled a planned appearance at the national team’s media conference on Monday ahead of facing Germany amid reports contract negotiations with Madrid had stalled.
Tebas, however, expects the centre-back to remain in the Spanish capital.
“I prefer Messi in the league, Sergio Ramos in the league,” he said. “We have had important outings. But we are prepared to have the least possible impact.
“I think Ramos will continue at Real Madrid.”
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