Lionel Messi looked 'disinterested' and Man City transfer would be GAMBLE after Barcelona thrashing, claims Joe Cole02/17/2021
MANCHESTER CITY'S summer move for Lionel Messi would be a 'gamble', claimed Joe Cole.
The 33-year-old failed to impress during Barcelona's shock 4-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
Former West Ham star Cole claimed the six-time Ballon d'Or winner looked 'disinterested' throughout.
And he insisted City would be taking a huge risk if they made a move for him this summer.
The pundit told BT Sport: "You'd have to do your due diligence before you sign Messi. He looked disinterested tonight.
"The 34-year-old Messi, if he plays like that it will be a gamble.
"To take him into a club where Pep relies on energy, enthusiasm, togetherness.
"It's a mess at Barca, I don't know how they're going to sort it out. I can't see Messi staying there.
"It's going to be tough for him to connect into one of these big teams because he's going to have to roll back the clock and move like he did three or four years ago."
After the match, Cole claimed that PSG star Kylian Mbappe is the best player in the world.
Rio Ferdinand backed him up as he insisted Mbappe is on track to 'take over the throne'.
The World Cup winner scored a hat-trick as PSG ran riot during the Champions League clash on Tuesday.
Cole claimed Messi was not 'emotionally engaged' in the match as he slated Barcelona's performance.
He added: "Disinterested is the word. They had no power, no togetherness.
"There was no connection between the back four and the front three and in between it looked bitty.
"Messi looked disinterested. It's really hard for any ex-player to criticise him because he's a genius and the greatest player I've seen play football but tonight he didn't look like he was emotionally engaged in the game.
"He's a leader out there, so is [Gerard] Pique and so is [Sergio] Busquets. The spine of the team at Barcelona look weak and just fell to bits.
"It was 4-1 – but it could have been five or six. It's worrying times for Barcelona."
Messi tried to force his way out of Barcelona last summer when he handed in his transfer request.
But he decided to stay for one final season to avoid a legal battle with the Spanish side.
His contract expires in June amid interest from both Manchester City and PSG.
But Arsene Wenger has urged PSG to focus on Mbappe and Neymar rather than Messi.
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