Manchester City have never attempted to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona, insists Pep Guardiola

Reports in Spain claim City offered to meet Messi's previous €250million release clause

Pep Guardiola says club is 'sad' for Kevin De Bruyne as midfielder suffers another injury

Pep Guardiola has unequivocally dismissed speculation suggesting Manchester City have attempted to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona.

A report by Spanish newspaper El Mundo on Friday claimed that City last year offered to meet the €250million release clause in Messi’s previous Barcelona contract.

Messi subsequently signed a new contract at the Camp Nou with an increased €700million release clause, effectively tying him down until 2021.

Guardiola won three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues with Messi at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012 and has long been linked with the Argentine.

However, Guardiola insisted on Friday that he has never sought to bring Messi to either his former club Bayern Munich or to Manchester.

“I said many, many times since I came here. When I left Barcelona, Bayern and now City that never have I asked Lionel Messi to join Bayern Munich or here,” the City manager said.

“I never went to both clubs and said I want this player. Never. I know how important he is to Barcelona.

“Myself, I have never spoken, never made the first step – and I’d never do that. I’ve said one thousand times about that.”

Messi will be 34-years-old by the time his current Barcelona contract expires in 2021, while Guardiola's current City deal expires the same summer.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in