Guardiola gives verdict on Manchester City interest in Leo Messi

    Pep Guardiola has given his verdict on speculations linking Manchester City with a move for the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi

    Guardiola and Messi spent four remarkable years working together at Barcelona, as they gave a massive contribution to shaping perhaps the most successful era at the Camp Nou.

    During Pep’s time at the club, the Catalan giants lifted two Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles before he left for Bayern Munich in 2013.

    And while Guardiola has spent the last seven years driving the likes of Bayern and Manchester City to immense domestic successes respectively, Messi is increasingly heading towards a single-club career.

    But, recent altercations between the 33-year-old Argentinean and the Barcelona hierarchy have led to speculations about the left-footed wizard’s departure.

    Messi has a year left on his contract at the club, and some latest reports have suggested Guardiola’s City may try to bring the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to the Etihad next summer. 

    During the build-up to City’s Premier League home clash against Newcastle United, Guardiola was asked to comment on the Sky Blues’ rumored interest in the Blaugrana captain.

    However, the 49-year-old Spaniard has played down such talks and has also refused to open up on Manchester City’s plans for the upcoming transfer window.

    “As I’ve said before, we’ll talk about the transfer market at the end of the season, and I won’t say anything now,” Guardiola explained in his native Catalan, as relayed by the Daily Mirror.

    “But my preference is for Messi to stay at Barcelona.”

    In addition to Manchester City, Inter Milan and Juventus have also expressed an interest in the coveted star, whose future at Barcelona continues to hang in the balance.

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