Lionel Messi is staying with FC Barcelona, though Manchester City may have come close to bringing him in. But Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne won’t lose sleep over the botched signing.
De Bruyne admitted that having Messi at City would have been something, but he prefers to deal with what they have at the moment.
“I really don’t care. I really don’t. If he would have come it would have helped us because, for me, he has been the best player of all time,” De Bruyne told The Daily Mail of Messi. “But I am never looking at what players may come and what may happen, you know.”
“You play with the players you have and I think we have a pretty good team in that respect,” he continued. “It would be stupid of me to assume what would happen if a certain player came. It happens in football all the time. People are supposed to come and eventually they don’t.”
Messi would have reunited with Pep Guardiola at Etihad Stadium if the Argentine player stuck to his initial claim of leaving Camp Nou. Messi played under Guardiola for four seasons (2008 to 2012), a spell that saw the duo win 14 major honors. Messi also won four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards at the time.
A reunion would have taken much to materialize. Messi carried a hefty price, meaning the Sky Blues needed to shell out astronomical wages to make the move to England happen, Goal reported.
However, De Bruyne also understands why Manchester City was willing to pay a staggering amount just to bring in Messi as he would have attracted a considerable number of sponsors and made the club a lot of money.
“If you can get Messi to your team you are always going to do it. I can see it from a playing perspective and especially as a club,” he told Daily Mail.
With that possibility now canned, De Bruyne and the rest of City players want to make the most out of what they have now. The 29-year-old has spent four years under Guardiola, more than enough time for him to get used to the system of the Spanish coach.
Now, De Bruyne wants to try something different, something that could work to the Sky Blues’ advantage. He knows that for the team to remain competitive, they need to try out different styles since most clubs are constantly improving and adapting something new.
Heading into the new season, De Bruyne has already thrown some warning shots the way of Liverpool FC. He bats that winning back-to-back Premier League titles will be tough after the Sky Blues were pushed all the way by The Reds, Sky Sports reported.
Liverpool finished 18 points ahead of City last season, ending their 30-year title drought. De Bruyne admitted they are coming off a pretty tough season with most clubs out to play their best when facing the Sky Blues. Now, he believes the same holds true for Liverpool next season.
Manchester City will not be among the teams seeing action during the Premier League opening weekend. The club’s first game will be on Sept. 21 when it faces Wolverhampton.
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