Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of signing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
Messi has been synonymous with Barcelona since breaking into the first-team and reaching the pinnacle of football, cementing himself as the greatest player in the club’s history.
The Argentinian had been expected to end his career with Barcelona whenever he chooses to retire, but that was thrown into some doubt recently.
Guardiola rules out signing Messi: Five things to know…
- Lionel Messi has been linked with a move away from Barcelona recently.
- The Argentinian hit out at sporting director Eric Abidal for comments made about the players.
- One potential destination was Manchester City, where Messi would reunite with Pep Guardiola.
- However, Guardiola has ruled out a move, hoping Messi finishes his career with Barcelona.
- Messi played 219 times for Guardiola at Barcelona, scoring 211 goals.
After Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal suggested players were not working hard under previous manager Ernesto Valerde, Messi hit back with a rebuttal on Instagram.
“I honestly do not like to do this kind of thing but I think that everyone has to be responsible for their job and take responsibility for their decisions,” Messi said.“Players for what happens on the field, we are also the first to acknowledge when we don’t play well.
“Those in charge of sporting direction should also face up to their responsibilities and above all take charge of their own decisions.
“Lastly, I think that when you talk about players, you should give names because otherwise you are tainting everyone’s name and feeding rumours that spread and are not true.”
This led to reports Messi would be looking for a move away in the summer and, naturally, Man City were one of the names linked due to Guardiola’s presence.
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Guardiola and Messi worked together for four years at Barcelona during the Catalan club’s best spell, winning two Champions Leagues and being known as one of the best sides in history. In total, Messi played 219 times under Guardiola, scoring 211 goals.
But Guardiola has insisted he does not want to sign Messi, instead hoping for the Argentinian to stay at Barcelona.
“He’s a player for Barcelona, he will stay there, that is my wish,” he told reporters.
“I’m not going to talk about players for another club. I think he’s going to finish his career there, it’s my wish.”
Guardiola’s sentiments were also echoed by Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, who said: “It would be fantastic for the Premier League but I don’t think it is possible.
“Messi is a Barcelona legend and I’m sure he is going to finish his career at Barcelona.”