Guardiola wants Messi to finish his career at Barcelona
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants Lionel Messi to finish his career at FC Barcelona. The former Barca manager, who enjoyed a lot of success with Messi during his time there, is a fan of the latter and wants him to stay put. The celebrated manager made the comment after being linked with a move for Messi. Here are the details.
Messi had handed in a transfer request
The Argentine handed in a transfer request on August 25, saying he wanted to exercise a clause in his contract which he said allowed him to leave for free. However, Barca quashed his hopes and said that the £624m release clause would have to be met. In an interview with Goal, Messi said Josep Maria Bartomeu didn't keep his word.
Messi had to continue at Barca
In the interview, Messi said that he was going to continue at Barca as paying the £624m release will be impossible by any other club. "Now I am going to continue in the club because the president told me that the only way to leave was to pay the 700m clause, and that this is impossible," the Barcelona legend said.
Messi wanted to join Manchester City
Messi and Manchester City manager Guardiola wanted to renew their partnership. This had put City in a prime position to land the Argentine. Besides City, the likes of Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain were also keen to get Messi. It was reported that senior Barca figures expected Messi to join City. But the release clause has dealt a blow to everyone involved.
As a fan, I want Leo to finish there: Guardiola
Messi's contract ends next summer and he could sign pre-contract terms with any club outside Spain from January 1. "Messi is a Barcelona player. I said it a thousand times. As a fan, I want Leo to finish there," said Guardiola. Guardiola also said it's up to Messi. "His contract finishes this year [season] and I don't know what will happen in his mind."
Pep refuses to be drawn into Messi's transfer speculation
Guardiola added City have a lot of targets as a club and that's what is in his mind. "We have incredible games and targets and things we would like to achieve. That is the only thing in our mind. The rest, I cannot say anything."