LaLiga president Javier Tebas admits they’re preparing for Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona.

With is contract running down, Messi is being linked with a £50m January move to Manchester City.

“I remember I said [back in August]that Messi was not essential,” Tebas said. “We are working in the event that [Messi’s departure] happens one day. Players are very important but they are not essential. Any league which manages itself based on what player it will add makes a mistake.

“Stars can help you in certain regions but in order to be global, you need to have a good product. We have created a unique product. We have already signed our audiovisual rights for the next four seasons and in none of those contracts does it state that we will be paid less if these players leave.

“But I insist, I would like Messi to continue many years here. He is the best football player in the history and my wish is for him to end his playing career in Spain.”

Tebas, a long-standing critic of City and their spending model, also indicated that he would like to see Pep Guardiola return to Spain to manage one day.

“We always want the best,” Tebas said. “I want [Lionel] Messi in La Liga. Just as I want Mourinho, Guardiola, Klopp, Cristiano [Ronaldo]… All of those would help us grow.”


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