Manchester United wonderkid Mason Greenwood says it would be a ‘dream come true’ to come up against Lionel Messi in the Premier League next season – as long as the iconic forward isn’t wearing the sky blue of Manchester City.
Messi handed in a transfer request at Barcelona last week in the wake of the club’s disappointing 2019/20 campaign, which ended with a crushing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The 33-year-old’s team have been exploring a clause in his contract at the Camp Nou which would potentially have allowed him to leave for free at the end of the campaign.
Manchester City have been closely monitoring the situation – with Messi open to reuniting with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad – but the Premier League giants were dealt a huge blow on Sunday as La Liga confirmed that the Argentine’s eye-watering €700million (£632m) was still valid.
On the possibility of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner moving to England this summer, United and England forward Greenwood said: ‘Obviously it would be amazing to even come up against him because all young footballers know about Messi.
‘To be on the same pitch playing against him would be another dream come true, not just for me but for everyone really.
‘To have someone that high profile to come to the Premier League, it’s obviously a big thing isn’t it.’
Asked whether he’d feel the same if Messi was wearing a Manchester City shirt, Greenwood replied: ‘Not really, no!’
Greenwood was speaking to the media after being called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the first time and the youngster is in contention to feature in the side’s upcoming Nations League clashes with Iceland and Denmark.
The 18-year-old insists he’s ready to battle it out with the likes of Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling for a place in the starting XI and will look to play with a smile on his face, just as he has at United.
‘I’ve spoken to him [Southgate] a few times, he’s a good coach and he was happy for me to be here,’ Greenwood added.
‘He said, “Just show what you can do, take your chances and play with a smile on your face as always” so that’s what I’m going to try and do.’
‘I feel ready to compete with anyone.
‘Like in the league, just going out there with a smile on your face and just playing football, that’s what it’s all about.
‘Obviously we’re an England team here and it’s good that everyone is pushing for places, it makes the training better and it makes the games better.’