Man City WILL NOT attempt to sign Lionel Messi next summer as Spanish football expert rules out blockbuster move for Barcelona superstar

Manchester City have ended their pursuit of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, Spanish football expert Semra Hunter has claimed.
The 33-year-old, who has scored a remarkable 640 goals in 742 matches for the Catalans, sensationally expressed his desire to leave Camp Nou during the summer – a move which was rejected by the board.
Messi’s Barcelona days appear to be numbered but a move to City has been ruled outGetty Images – Getty
Barca chiefs insisted any suitor would have to pay his £630m release clause, a move which has seen Messi reluctantly decide to see his out the final year of his contract.
He is expected to leave Barca at the end of the season and PSG and Man City have been mooted as the most likely destinations.
Nevertheless, Hunter, speaking to Sky Sports, says Messi’s €100m-a-year wages (£89m) is a deal breaker for City.
“I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi,” Hunter said. “Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed.
Guardiola believes Messi should finish his career at BarcelonaAFP – Getty
“They have their reasons for this,” he said. “They have two reasons for this: age and finances. Talking about age, he is heading into the twilight years of his career and you’ll be bringing on board a Messi that is different to what we’ve seen for the last 17 years with Barcelona. Even he himself has said that he is getting closer to the dreaded r-word of retirement more so than anyone cares to admit.
“That goes hand-in-hand with finances because even though he would be able to join for free, his wages are astronomically high – he is earning about 100m euros-a-year. That would be a huge financial burden for any club to take on, especially given the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.
“Economically, everyone has taken a hit and clubs are not immune from this either. We’ve seen in the transfer window over the past summer that clubs are changing their strategies. Some of them, like Real Madrid, didn’t even buy a single player, most of them are trying to sell, some of them are trying to bide their time and wait so they can make bigger transfers some time down the road. And 100m euros is a huge stress from a wage-bill point of view.

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“Either you have to offload some of the highest earners or you have to sell off players or make other tweaks in other parts of the club depending on whatever formula a club would want to use to bring Messi on board.
“Perhaps, clubs would rather invest that money into bringing younger players in or bringing in reinforcements in positions where they actually need those reinforcements.”
Messi has become synonymous with Barca for more than a decade, helping them win four European Cups, ten LaLiga titles and numerous other trophies.
City boss Guardiola, who signed a new two-year contract extension at the Etihad on Thursday, believes the 33-year-old should finish his career at Barcelona.
He said: “I have said a thousand times I would like, as a Barcelona fan, for him to finish his career there.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in his mind but for now he is a Barcelona player.”


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