It is claimed in a report in Marca that only the English side, Serie A club Inter and defeated Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain are plausible destinations for Messi, but City are in the lead to complete a deal.
It follows on from multiple reports across Spanish and Argentinean media which state that Messi is leaving Barcelona and will attempt to activate a clause in his deal which allows him to break his contract.
Marcelo Bechler – the same journalist who reported Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain first and broke the news that Messi will leave Barcelona before anyone else, now claims Messi’s next destination will be the Etihad.
Messi quer jogar no Manchester City. Trata a saída do Barcelona como algo que dói na alma, mas o fim de um ciclo pic.twitter.com/FVMPDvB7Go
— Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) August 26, 2020
Now aged 33, Messi starred under Guardiola when the latter was in charge at the Blaugrana between 2008 and 2012, with the two maintaining a personal relationship since.
The report claims that whilst City’s stance is that they will not attempt to sign the player, that will change if he becomes available as a free agent and Guardiola has already initiated the talks.
Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards during his spell at the Camp Nou, where he has spent the entirety of his professional career and firmly established himself as one of the greatest footballers ever to play the sport.
Messi has scored a scarcely believable 634 goals in 731 official appearances for Barcelona, but his time at the club now appears to be up and he is hopeful of becoming a free agent.