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What Pep Guardiola Said In February When Reporter Asked If Lionel Messi Was A Transfer Target

What Pep Guardiola Said In February When Reporter Asked If Lionel Messi Was A Transfer Target

Pep Guardiola said his wish was for Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona for the remainder of his career during a press conference in February.

Just days after the club suffered defeat against Spurs, the Manchester City manager was asked if Messi was a transfer target amid speculation that the Premier League club wanted to sign him on a free transfer this summer.

Guardiola, however, played down the transfer talks and 'wished' that he'd stay at the Camp Nou.

"He is a player from Barcelona and he will stay there, that's my wish for him to stay there," he said. "I'm not going to talk about players playing for other clubs. I think he will finish his career there, that's my wish."

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Months later and with Messi handing in a transfer request this week, reports have now emerged that the 33-year-old has already contacted Guardiola over a sensational move to the Etihad.

In fact, further reports have suggested Messi is 'set on playing for Manchester City' after telling Barcelona he wants out after two decades with the club.

Marcelo Bachler, the Esporte Interativo journalist who first broke the Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain story three years ago, is reporting that Messi is keen on a sensational reunion with Pep in England.

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Furthermore the ever-reliable David Ornstein from The Athletic also says the 33-year-old has already phoned Guardiola to inform him of his interest.

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Whether Manchester City will go on and make a move for Messi is yet to be seen but it won't be easy.

Messi's release clause standing at £631 million, though he has requested that Barca refer to the clause in his contract that allows him to leave for a free at the end of each season.

Thoughts on Messi potentially making a move to Manchester City this summer?

Let us know in the comments.

Topics: Manchester City, Football News, Lionel Messi News, Football, Pep Guardiola, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Premier League

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Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.