Lionel Messi has cast considerable doubt on Barcelona's reported interest in Dimitar Berbatov, suggesting that a move for the former Manchester United striker would be 'impossible'.
Bulgarian frontman Berbatov, who currently represents Premier League outfit Fulham after moving to West London from Old Trafford last summer, was linked with a shock move to the Catalan giants in the media earlier this week, with Barca boss Gerardo Martino reportedly looking for adequate short-term cover for the injured Messi.
Such a potential move for a man who was once Manchester United's record signing at an eye-watering £30.75 million has shocked and surprised many Barcelona fans, but Argentine Messi appears to have dismissed the possibility out of hand.
"I haven’t heard the rumour that Berbatov is linked to Barcelona. In fact he is a good player, he has experience in a big team," the 26-year-old told TV7 in an interview that was quoted by Goal.com.
"It’s not my business to interfere with the club’s transfer decisions but I think it’s impossible for Dimitar to join Barcelona."
Messi did not appear to elaborate on just why the switch would be impossible. On the contrary, if Martino was indeed desperate to land the lethargic but occasionally brilliant and languid frontman, it seems doubtful that he would encounter too much resistance.
For the player, a move to one of the world's top clubs - arguably even more reputable than former employers Manchester United - would surely be too alluring to resist as he approaches the latter stages of his career, particularly given the current plight of Martin Jol's struggling Fulham.
His contract is also set to expire at the end of the 2013/14 campaign and the Cottagers could presumably be convinced to part with Berbatov in the new year if it means they do not lose him for nothing in the summer months.