Lionel Messi

Pep Guardiola rules out Man City making Lionel Messi move

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Messi does not look likely to move to the Premier League
Messi does not look likely to move to the Premier League / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola has ruled out Manchester City making a move for Lionel Messi.

Messi is currently a free agent and on the lookout for his next club, after Barcelona were unable to offer him fresh terms due to their financial problems. 

Messi led Argentina to Copa America glory this summer / CARL DE SOUZA/Getty Images

City have made two approaches for Messi in the past and Guardiola has previously enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the forward. During his time as Barcelona manager, he converted Messi into a false nine, a move which yielded terrific results. 

However, speaking to the press before Saturday’s Community Shield, Guardiola ruled out a reunion with La Pulga - stating that City’s recent £100m move for Jack Grealish made it impossible. 

"We spent £100m on Jack Grealish. £100m we paid and £60m we won [from transfers]. And he will wear the number 10. We were convinced by Grealish and convinced Leo would stay at Barca. Right now he is not in our thoughts," he said, as quoted by Manchester City.

City may be unable to pounce but Guardiola did admit he was very surprised to discover that Barcelona were not able to agree a new deal with Messi.

"It was a surprise for everyone, me included. The president was clear on the reason why. I didn't speak with the player or president so I don't know what happened. But when you have a lot of money lost the decision has been made," he said.

"As a fan, incredible gratitude for the most extraordinary player I have seen in my life. To win trophies for Barcelona, to help me win and go to Bayern and then City. To watch what he can do with the ball.

"Day by day, game by game, he made something unique. All I can say is thank you so much to bring Barcelona to another level, to allow Barcelona to dominate the world for a decade with him and his mates. I wish him the best for the rest of his career."