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The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is desperate to leave Barcelona this summer and a reunion with Pep Guardiola could be on the cards.
However, a source told The Athletic that Messi was previously "more charmed" by "historic English clubs such as Manchester United" if he ever wanted another challenge.
Most of City's success has come in the last decade and they are in their infancy of being a global superpower, unlike bitter rivals United.
Furthermore, the source also claims the 33-year-old spoke to former teammate Cesc Fabregas about playing in London.
Fabregas spent time in the English capital with Arsenal and Chelsea either side of a stint with Barca.
"I always had the feeling he wanted an experience abroad," the source begun per The Mirror.
"Even more of a surprise than City is that he would go back to working with Pep. The relationship after so many intense seasons at Barcelona with Guardiola was not the best with the players.
"This was not Leo in particular. Leo and Pep did not have direct problems but the last season was not the best and the relationship between players and manager became very tired.
"Go and look at the players Guardiola has signed at Bayern and City. You won't find many he coached at Barca. The relationship between Guardiola and the players was broken by the end.
"However, time heals. Messi is not stupid. He knows his best moment was with Guardiola on the bench, so maybe he thinks he needs this guy to get the best of him."
Messi's father, Jorge, touched down in Barcelona on Wednesday morning with the intention of discussing his son's future with club president Josep Bartomeu.
When Deportes Cuatro asked how he sees Messi's future, he replied: "The future at Barca, difficult, difficult. It's difficult for Leo to stay."
:projector: - Jorge Messi answers questions from a journalist. [@DeportesCuatro]
Journalist: " Is Leo going to go leave Barça or what?"
Jorge Messi: "I don't know"
Journalist: "How do you see it?
Jorge Messi: "Difficult"
Journalist: "Difficult to stay?"
Jorge Messi: "Yes" pic.twitter.com/OBleib6efs
- bu (@BUclipsandvids) September 2, 2020
Asked if City is a good option, he said: "I don't know, there is nothing."
And he dismissed claims that he spoke to Guardiola: "I didn't talk to Pep. No, with nobody."
Do you think Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona this summer?
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Featured Image Credit: PA Images & UEFA
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