However, Soriano has poured water on all speculation, claiming that there is no chance of recruiting Messi and admitting that they will have to pursue their ambitions without him.
"There is no chance of signing Messi," he told reporters in Argentina (H/T Marca).
"I know him and his family well and I know they are fine in Barcelona, which is where he needs to be.
"We will make our way without him, which will be more difficult because he is the best player in the history of football.
"The main characteristic of Guardiola is working," he continued.
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"He knows that football is very cruel and when you relax, you [can] concede four goals.
City, meanwhile, sit comfortably at the top of the Premier League table with 81 points and a 16 point gap between themselves and second-placed rivals Manchester United towards what should be their first league title since 2014.