Sports

Guardiola wants forward to end career at Barcelona

MANCHESTER, NOV 20 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/20/2020 12:06:57 PM IST

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he wants Lionel Messi to finish his career at Barcelona.

Guardiola signed a two-year contract extension with City on Thursday and was immediately linked with his ex-player, who came close to moving last summer.

Messi’s contract ends next summer and he could sign pre-contract terms with any club outside Spain from 1 January. Guardiola said: “Messi is a Barcelona player. I said it a thousand times. As a fan, I want Leo to finish there.” Argentine playmaker Messi had looked set to join City after putting in a transfer request in August, only for Barcelona’s then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu to block the transfer.

Bartomeu then resigned in October but Messi’s future remains uncertain. “His contract finishes this year [season] and I don’t know what will happen in his mind,” Guardiola said.

Paris St-Germain have also been linked with the 33-year-old, although every candidate Barcelona presidential election - to be held in January - has said it is a priority for them to persuade Messi to stay at the Nou Camp. “I have huge gratitude for Barcelona and what they have done for me,” said Guardiola.

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