Pep Guardiola pleads with Lionel Messi to settle Barcelona feud and sign new contract after rift with board


PEP GUARDIOLA says he hopes Lionel Messi settles his differences with Barcelona and stays for the rest of his career.

The Nou Camp legend’s future is once again in doubt – with reports in Spain suggesting he could leave next summer.

City have always believed they would be in pole position to sign the Argentine if he ever did leave Catalonia.

Guardiola,  Chief exec Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain all know Messi well from their days together at Barca.

Asked if a move to the Etihad was a possibility, Guardiola said:” I am not going to speak until the end of the season about transfers.

“But my wish is Messi is going to stay at Barcelona.”

City’s transfer plans are up in the air as they await the result of their appeal against a two year Champions League ban.

It would cost the club around £200 million and seriously impact on their hopes of buying new players this summer.

But Pep says it will not have any impact on his players for the remainder of this season once they know their fate on Monday.

He said: “The 10th is the draw if we can go through against Real Madrid and the 13th is the sentence and after I will give my opinion.

 “It is not going to change the squad. It is so beautiful what we have in front of us.”

City will discover on Thursday whether their Champions League second leg tie against Madrid will be held at the Etihad.

Reports suggested it may be played in Portugal but the English club hope UEFA will allow it to be played at their home.

Guardiola is reported to have lobbied hard for such an outcome but said: “I am not strong enough to have this impact. I am not the president.

“They have protocols with Uefa and Fifa. I never spoke with anyone from Uefa.

“We want to play in Manchester that is normal but we will play where Uefa decide to play, in Portugal or Germany. I didn’t make phone calls. I don’t have this power.”


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