LaLiga president Javier Tebas has claimed that the league is "ready" for Lionel Messi's departure, and once again criticised the conduct of Premier League giants Manchester City.
Messi's future at Barcelona has been in doubt since he handed a formal transfer request during the the latest transfer window, and the 33-year-old is widely expected to leave the club, either during the January window or upon the expiration of his contract at the end of the campaign.
LaLiga president Tebas has now weighed in on the situation, and revealed his belief that the league would cope with the Argentine's departure, just as it had done with the respective transfers of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar over the past three years.
"We would prefer Messi to stay in La Liga, but Ronaldo and Neymar left and we have not noticed any difference. We are ready," Tebas said, according to the Daily Mirror.
Scroll through the gallery below to see where Messi ranks among LaLiga's highest-paid players
Over the past few months, Manchester City have emerged as the frontrunners to land the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's signature, but Tebas has slammed the Premier League contenders' controversial source of financing.
"It seems the only club in the Premier League that talks about registering Messi is Manchester City, who compete outside the rules. I'm not the only one saying this. I am not too worried about them. I have criticised what they do so many times. Doing it one more time makes no difference," he added.
"City is neither affected by COVID nor pandemics or anything because they are financed differently and it is impossible to fight against that."