Pep Guardiola has ruled out a Manchester City move for Lionel Messi following Barcelona’s shock announcement that the Argentine superstar would leave the Camp Nou. City boss Guardiola had been Messi’s manager at Barcelona for four successful years and the Premier League champions were immediately linked with the forward after Thursday’s shocking news. But Guardiola set a British record £100 million ($139 million) for Aston Villa playwright Jack Grealish when Messi unexpectedly became a free agent.
And, speaking at a press conference on Friday, Guardiola insisted that a reunion with Messi was not currently in his plan.
Guardiola said, ‘Right now (signing Messi) is not in our view.
“We spent £40 million on Jack Grealish. £100 million we pay and £60 million we made in the last year and that would bring in number 10 because we were sure of Jack Grealish.
“It looked like it (Messi) went well in terms of continuing with Barcelona. In the end it was a surprise to everyone, of course me included, but I think the reason was clear to Laporta today.”
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said the club has been forced to end its long relationship with Messi due to the “terrible” financial problems it has inherited from the previous regime.
Messi, 34, was out of contract at the end of last season but appeared set to sign a new deal before the sudden announcement of his exit.
As well as City, Paris Saint-Germain have also been suggested as a suitor for Messi, who won four Champions League and 10 La Liga titles with Barcelona.
After taking a closer look at the impact Messi made at Barcelona, Guardiola paid tribute to the star’s remarkable contribution to the club.
“Unfortunately, because as a supporter for my club, I would love to eliminate him but today the stability of the club is very important and what happened last year was really not good,” Guardiola said.
“That’s why he comes in. I have incredible gratitude as a fan for seeing the most extraordinary player I’ve ever had in my life. More than just the titles he helped Barcelona win, how he helped me become a better manager and Munich.” And then helped to go to England.
“The incredible spirit and act of being at the front of the team and seeing him see what he could do with the ball, with his teammates in a football game, day after day, game by game, he created something unique. Will give
“All I can say is thank you very much for bringing Barcelona to another level, for having dominated the world with him and his teammates over the course of a decade. I certainly look forward to the last years of his career.” I wish you all the best and he will not be forgotten, that’s for sure.
“Hopefully one day we can properly say that is the best farewell game ever. He deserves it to another level for his contribution to this club, but it’s a misfortune if Laporta gets into this position. It’s because no one had done well before.”