Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits that he would be saddened to see Lionel Messi leave Barcelona.
The Argentine star is reportedly set to make a public announcement about his plans in the next few hours, having informed Barça that he wants to leave the club.
Manchester City are said to be the favorites to sign the 33-year-old, and Messi is apparently interested in meeting former Barça manager Pep Guardiola.
Arteta, who spent three years with the Catalans as a youth, would be disappointed as a fan if Messi went ahead.
However, the former City assistant says the prospect of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner playing in the Premier League is exciting.
“It has been linked everywhere you know. He has more clubs than any other player in history after him! Arteta said Thursday.
“I have been a Barcelona fan since I was young and it is always sad to see, that in my opinion he has been the best player in the history of football, to leave that football club.
“Let’s see what happens. If he comes to England, we will all enjoy it.”
Arteta isn’t even overly concerned about Messi joining City as he tries to make Arsenal a title challenger again.
When asked about Messi’s departure to a rival club, he said: “It doesn’t matter. It is good for soccer.
“We will have to find a way [to stop him]. If he is not here, we could find him in the Champions League, you never know.
“You want the best players in your league and for me that’s the best, having the most competitive league in the world. The Premier League has always had that.
“The times with [Cristiano] Ronaldo, I played against him and it was great because he raises the level of each individual and also of each team ”.
Arsenal face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday.