Chelsea could not at present consider signing Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi, according to manager José Mourinho, speaking in an interview on the TV channel BT Sport, Marca reports.
“We have no chance because now there is financial fair play, and in accordance with that we have to follow certain norms and keep within certain figures,” Mourinho said in the interview, which will be broadcast on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
“We are in no position to purchase an incredible player at a stratospheric price,” Mourinho went on.
Financial fair play was a measure introduced by FIFA in recent years to control spending by European clubs.
There has been a fair amount of speculation in the media in the past few months about the possible departure of Messi from Barcelona after them not winning any trophies last season. Cesc Fábregas, who was Messi’s teammate at Barcelona before signing for Chelsea at the start of the season, recently told Radio Marca, “I’d love to have Leo playing alongside.”
In the interview, Mourinho also mentioned that some years back he had the chance to manage Portugal. “When I was managing Real Madrid, I agreed to do both jobs, but in the end Florentino Pérez did not allow it. I have to admit that the two jobs are not really compatible, and it’s not even ethical, when you think of how many unemployed managers there are.”