Manchester City are unlikely to be in a position to make an approach for Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, admits chief executive Ferran Soriano.
The Argentine superstar continues to see his future called into question as he is yet to commit to a contract extension at Camp Nou.
Messi’s current deal is due to expire in 2018, with it possible that he could opt to take on a new challenge after many years in Catalonia.
Soriano believes that a move could happen, despite the 28-year-old stating a desire to retire at Barca, but doubts that a switch to the Etihad Stadium would be made.
A man who spent five years as vice-president at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2008 told Xinhua on the rumours suggesting that City could move for Messi: "No. I don’t think so.
“I know Messi very well. He and his family are my good friends. I think he has settled in Barcelona. He has been in Barcelona all his life.
“At least next year, maybe he can finish that career.
"After that he can go to China or US, but now I think he will stay in Barcelona.”
Messi recently told Tencent Sports that he intends to see out his playing days at Camp Nou and retire as a one-club man.
He said: "It's what I always wanted and dreamed. I would love to finish my career at Barcelona.”
Those comments were then backed up by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu when he was quizzed on the subject of Messi’s future.
He said: “Messi wants to retire at Barcelona and whenever [the renewal] happens, it will happen.
“For now I refer you to the words of the man himself.”