Jamie Carragher says he would have loved to see Lionel Messi ply his trade in the Premier League - but not with Liverpool.

The Argentine ace was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City before revealing that he would be staying at Barcelona after all.

It would have been a huge coup for the Premier League had Messi moved to these shores after spending his whole career in Spain.

Carragher insists he would have loved to see him in English football too but does not think his arrival would guarantee success for the team that signed him.

He told The Mirror : “If you are asking me as a lover of football if I wanted Messi to come to the Premier League then absolutely, yes.

“Did I want him to go to Man City? Yes, because I just wanted him in the Premier League. I wanted to watch him every week – and it would have been amazing.

“Did I want Liverpool to sign him? No. If I was a City fan, would I have wanted City to sign him? No.

Lionel Messi will now stay at Barcelona
Lionel Messi will now stay at Barcelona

“Standing back and looking at the numbers involved and the age of the player, I am not sure I would have wanted my team to sign him.

“I wanted Messi in the Premier League and if he had gone to City I would have been delighted. Would he have made City better? Of course.

“But Liverpool still beat Barcelona 4-0 - and Barcelona didn’t win the league this year and have not won the Champions League for a long time.

Messi was linked with a move to Man City
Messi was linked with a move to Man City

“We are talking about one of the greatest players, but just because you get him there is no guarantee of success.”

And Carragher reckons that Liverpool should be concentrating their efforts on signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, despite his age.

“The only worry that might put Liverpool off is Thiago's age – but I think it will happen,” he added.

“Liverpool have a few players in the squad around 28 or 29 and that's why the deal will have to be on their terms – maybe nearer £20million than £30million.

“What Thiago does is add something different to what Liverpool have in midfield.

“Their midfielders all do a brilliant job but are quite similar.

“It would be nice to have someone who can control the game more. It would be nice if they had a bit extra technically.

“I think it will probably happen towards the end of the window, but it would be a very good signing.”