Jose Mourinho says Lionel Messi transfer rumours are 'not true'
Jose Mourinho has dismissed rumours linking Lionel Messi to Chelsea in a 200 million-pound deal, describing the stories as "obviously not true."
The Barcelona star was on Thursday the subject of intense speculation, with both Argentina and Spanish media claiming that his apparent unhappiness at Camp Nou had led to the discussion of a prospective deal with Chelsea.
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AS cited Argentine channel DirecTV, which claimed Messi had already spoken to Mourinho by phone, who gave his OK to the transfer.
The 27-year-old was said to have "felt used" as a symbol of Barcelona and Catalonia, only to be left undefended when his tax case arose.
Messi is also said to fancy a change of environment as well as a link-up with his friend Cesc Fabregas, and his sponsors Adidas would be willing to help push a deal with one of their existing clients.
Mourinho scotched all of this as a mere consequence of modern media, and the ability to say anything without checking.
He said at a news conference: "My reaction is that your world changed so much that our world also changed so much. And I think, in this moment, it's so easy, so easy to have non-truths circulating.
"It's so easy that some people put news without confirming or speaks about rumours. Obviously it's not true. Obviously it's not true."
Messi is also up for Ballon d'Or again, but Mourinho similarly criticised the idea of such individual awards in a team game.
He said: "This kind of trophy is not good for football. This is why I don't care about it. Sometimes it looks like we are looking for stars, we are looking for some people to be more important than others.
"And this is not the culture we want in this club. I don't care about it. But it's there. It's there as a consequence of the good work the team is doing. And, if they feel that, OK. It's good for them.
"But the mentality here is not to be worried about that. Even less being obsessed with that. When I see these two names, Fabregas and [Eden] Hazard, I think clearly they don't think about it. They think about the team, about playing well and trying to win matches."