Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted the club will not pursue Lionel Messi despite the Barcelona legend’s shock exit from Camp Nou.
Messi’s contract expired earlier this summer and Barcelona confirmed on Thursday evening that, despite reaching an agreement with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, financial constraints placed upon the club by La Liga would prevent any renewal.
City were eager to sign the 34-year-old when he attempted to leave Nou Camp last summer but, having completed the British record £100m signing of Jack Grealish, and with Harry Kane in their sights, Guardiola insists that there will be no attempt to bring his former player to the Etihad.
“We've spent £40m on Jack Grealish – £60m we receive and £100m we spent. Jack will wear the No 10 and we were convinced that Leo would continue at Barcelona. Right now, it's absolutely not in our thoughts.
“It looks like it's finished and it was a surprise for everyone. I think president Laporta was clear today. I didn't speak with the player or the president but both wanted the agreement to continue.
“All I can say thank you to Lionel for helping Barcelona dominate and I wish him all the best for the future.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 years ago