Jurgen Klopp reacts to possibility of Lionel Messi joining Liverpool's rivals

Jurgen Klopp believes Lionel Messi would represent a welcome addition to the Premier League even if it ultimately strengthens his club’s main rivals Manchester City.

Messi sent shock waves through world football earlier this week when he declared his intention to quit the Catalan giants following nearly two decades of near unbroken success.

City have emerged as the overwhelming favourites to sign the 33-year-old and Pep Guardiola is reported to have already held a phone conversation with the Argentine forward.

Liverpool broke City’s stranglehold on the Premier League last season, winning their first domestic title for 30 years, sweeping all before them over the course of record breaking campaign.

The addition of Messi would clearly render Guardiola’s side an even bigger threat to Liverpool this time around, but Klopp would welcome the six-times Ballon d’Or winner to these shores, even if he admits his club has no chance of signing him.

‘It will obviously help Man City and make it more difficult to beat them,’ he said ahead of Saturday’s Community Shield against Arsenal.

‘For the Premier League, it would be great that would help but I am not sure the Premier League needs that boost.

‘He’s never played in another league. Football is different here. I’d like to see it. Not sure I will.

‘Interest from Liverpool? Who doesn’t want him? But no chance. The numbers are not for us. It is all clear. But a good player, to be honest.’

While Messi looks set to leave Barcelona, Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum could be on the move to Camp Nou.

New head coach Ronald Koeman wants to add his compatriot, who he managed at international level, to his midfield and with just one year remaining on the 29-year-old’s contract his future is the subject of intense speculation.

On Wijnaldum, Klopp added: ‘An open contract situation, we don’t talk about it. It’s all between us and the player. All good at the moment.

‘Gini looked good in pre-season, played some good seasons for us. That is all I can say.’

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