Lionel Messi apparently doesn’t want Mesut Ozil at Barcelona because he’s too old.

Ozil has been linked with a move to Barcelona in January, as manager Ernesto Valverde looks to strengthen his midfield. However, according to Diario Gol via the Express, Barcelona’s star man Lionel Messi doesn’t want the German international anywhere near Barcelona.

Apparently, 29-years-of-age is too old for Messi’s tastes. He’d rather Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho instead. Rather than be based on any sort of information, this just seems like an excuse to link Coutinho to Barcelona again.

Barcelona tried and failed to sign the Brazilian during the summer. Ozil is seen as a back-up target. Here’s why reports of this reasoning for Barca not signing Ozil are nonsense.

Firstly, Messi probably does have some say in Barcelona’s transfer business, but given that he’s a year older than Ozil is, and is similarly out of contract in the summer, he might not be in the best position to be dictating terms.

Secondly, despite his age, Ozil is surely a better player and would be considerably cheaper than the likes of Andre Gomes and Arda Turan.

And thirdly, Barcelona have acted over Messi’s head recently – Neymar’s sale to Paris Saint-Germain is believed to have rankled the Argentine. Dani Alves’ sale must have hurt too given the two players’ chemistry.

Still, the Catalans not having any serious interest could work in Arsenal’s favour, so this might not be a bad thing at all.