Pep Guardiola Denies Contacting Lionel Messi For Manchester City Transfer
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is hoping to ink Lionel Messi whenever the right circumstances arise.
However, Guardiola, a former Barca player and manager, denied that he's contacted Messi about a transfer, according to Bleacher Report. Mundo Deportivo, a Spanish newspaper, claimed that Guardiola is hoping to land Barcelona players Messi, Neymar, Sergio Busquets, and Luis Suarez.
While Guardiola, 45, insists that he never called any of the aforementioned Barcelona players, he would be well within his rights to do so since Barcelona also contacts Manchester City players, ESPN reported.
Guardiola also claimed that he wants to see the 29-year-old Messi stay with Barcelona for the rest of his career. But he is entertaining scenarios when he could sign him, such as if Messi someday decides that he wants to be elsewhere to play or wants his children to learn English. But if Messi does signify his intention to leave Barcelona, Guardiola anticipates that there would be six to eight clubs who are going to pursue his services.
Guardiola is credited for helping Messi become arguably one of the greatest soccer players of all time. With Messi playing for Barcelona under Guardiola, they dominated in Spain and in Europe between 2008 and 2012. While it would be a huge surprise to see Messi leave Barcelona, many felt that if ever that would happen, it would take something or someone special to lure him away from Barcelona such as Guardiola.
On Wednesday, Guardiola's Manchester City will be up against Messi's Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
Guardiola also admitted there was a genuine interest in Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen before they inked his teammate Claudio Bravo. ter Stegen was utilized by Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey tournaments and in Blaugrana's Champions League, while Bravo was fielded in the La Liga matches. Unlike the case of Messi, Guardiola admitted that he got in touch with ter Stegen, who was unhappy splitting minutes with Bravo.