Manchester City have been linked with a summer transfer move for Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, after the Argentine striker fell out with the Nou Camp’s sporting director, but Pep Guardiola isn’t sure whether the deal would be the right thing for the Citizens.
Manchester City have once again been tipped to sign Lionel Messi – this time, after a high-profile dispute with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal. But, Pep Guardiola isn’t totally convinced by the transfer, insisting that the deal has to be right for Messi.
Speculation around Messi’s future arose after he hit back at Abidal’s claims that some of the Barcelona players weren’t giving 100 per cent for former manager Ernesto Valverde.
In an Instagram post, Messi told Abidal that senior management were equally to blame for Valverde’s departure.
He also insisted that Abidal should mention individual names over the lack of effort, instead of lumping the entire squad into the same boat.
If Messi were to become available, Man City boss Guardiola wouldn’t be 100 per cent sold on the idea of him heading to the Etihad Stadium, according to The Athletic.
Guardiola’s loyalty to Barcelona would have an over-arching impact on any deal for Messi.
He would want to make sure that the Catalan forward is fully committed to leaving the Nou Camp.
The City boss is also keen to make sure that Messi comes to his decision on his own accord, and isn’t pressured into the decision.
With that in mind, he’s urging City to seal the transfer in the right way by not speaking to the player directly; his family already knows that City want to sign him.
While a deal for Messi is unlikely, City believe that there is a chance it could happen.
There’s a suggestion that the Barcelona star is ready to trigger his release clause this summer.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner reportedly has a stipulation in his contract that would allow him to leave the club for free this summer.
But, he would have to inform Barcelona of his decision before a June 30 deadline.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Messi reacted furiously to Abidal’s interview with Sport.
He wrote a public message to his 142million Instagram followers condemning the former left-back’s comments.
“I honestly don’t like to do these things, but I think everyone has to be responsible for their tasks and take care of their decisions,” Messi wrote.
“The players are responsible for what happens on the pitch, and we are also the first to acknowledge when we were not good.
“Those responsible for the area of sports management must also assume their responsibilities and above all take charge of the decisions they make.
“Finally, I think that when talking about players, we should give names, because otherwise we are getting everyone dirty and feeding things that are said and are not true.”
Barcelona sacked Valverde at the start of January, after being knocked out of the Spanish Super Cup in the semi-finals.
The Catalans appointed former Real Betis boss Quique Setien as Valverde’s replacement.