Mourinho says Lionel Messi won’t join Manchester United and ‘belongs to Barcelona’

Jose Mourinho(Photo credit JON SUPER/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has denied that he has set his sights on recruiting Lionel Messi from Barcelona.

Reports circulated last week in the media that the Old Trafford chief was keen to lure the Argentina superstar to United from the Nou Camp.

But when quizzed by a reporter in the press conference for tomorrow’s Europa League cash against Feyenoord, the Special One said:

“It’s the same story every season, that he’s going to leave. But he never leaves and I hope he doesn’t, because he belongs to Barcelona.”

Mourinho was also asked if he had ambitions to stay at United for the long term, to which he replied:

“I’m at the beginning of my contract, so let’s go step by step. But if you ask whether I’d like to have success and stay here longer than three years, then yes, because I’m at the club where I want to be.”

United go into the game following a frustrating 1-1 daw with Arsenal at home in the Premier League on Saturday and Mourinho says he hasn’t lost sight of the fact that his side have not won the last three home league games. His response to that damming statistic was simply:

“We have to keep working.”

The Red Devils will be backed by a full house against the Dutch outfit at the Theatre of Dreams tomorrow and Mourinho says the support he and his players have received has been magnificent.

He added:

“Man United fans, what can I say? I am amazed with the way they are with the team. We let them down a couple of times with a couple of really bad performances, but we never let them down in terms of the quality of the game, the commitment and the enthusiasm — never in that area.”