Manchester City supervisor Pep Guardiola says he needs Lionel Messi to complete his profession at Barcelona.
Guardiola signed a two-year contract extension with City on Thursday and was instantly linked along with his ex-player, who got here near transferring final summer season.
Messi’s contract ends subsequent summer season and he might signal pre-contract phrases with any membership exterior Spain from 1 January.
Guardiola mentioned: “Messi is a Barcelona player. I said it a thousand times. As a fan, I want Leo to finish there.”
Argentine playmaker Messi had regarded set to affix City after placing in a switch request in August, just for Barcelona’s then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu to dam the switch.
Bartomeu then resigned in October however Messi’s future stays unsure.
“His contract finishes this year [season] and I don’t know what will happen in his mind,” Guardiola mentioned.
Paris St-Germain have additionally been linked with the 33-year-old, though each candidate Barcelona presidential election – to be held in January – has mentioned it’s a precedence for them to influence Messi to remain on the Nou Camp.
“I have huge gratitude for Barcelona and what they have done for me,” mentioned Guardiola, who labored with Messi when managing Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.
“In the academy, as a player and a manager, they gave me absolutely everything. Right now Messi is a Barcelona player and the transfer market is in June and July.
“We have unbelievable video games and targets and issues we want to obtain. That is the one factor in our thoughts. The relaxation, I can’t say something.”
‘I’d have taken a break’
Guardiola’s new deal will take him to 2023 and will see him complete seven seasons at the club, as long as he spent in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich combined.
Despite the obvious interest in him, the 49-year-old says he had no interest in moving anywhere else and would have stepped away from the game again, as he did when he left Barcelona in 2012, had an agreement with City not been reached.
“I did not take into consideration anyplace else, simply to remain right here,” he mentioned.
“The determination was not simply mine, it was the membership’s as effectively. If we had felt it was sufficient, I’d have taken a break.
“But we have the feeling we still have many things to do together. We want to continue what we have done in the previous seasons.”