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Lionel Messi

'Guardiola has never wanted to hurt Barcelona by taking Messi' - Father of Man City boss doubts deal for Argentine

11:42 BST 07/05/2021
Lionel Messi Pep Guardiola 2020-21
Valenti Guardiola admits that his son would welcome an iconic figure to the Etihad Stadium, but he is not expecting a move to be made

Pep Guardiola's father, Valenti, admits that the Manchester City manager would welcome Lionel Messi to the Etihad Stadium, but doubts a move will be made as his son has never wanted to "hurt" those at Barcelona.

A decorated Catalan coach has seen an approach for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner mooted as an all-time great continues to run his current contract down towards free agency.

City are one of the few clubs in world football that could offer Messi the financial and sporting ambition he craves, but Guardiola has always maintained that he wants to see the iconic Argentine remain at Barca and see out the most remarkable of careers as a one-club man.

What has been said?

Valenti Guardiola cannot see Messi moving to England, as fresh terms are mooted for him in Spain, with a long-running saga set to come to a close this summer.

He told Emiliano Nunia: "There's no club in the world that wouldn't want to have Messi.

"I saw him play at 12 or 13 years old and I was amazed. He was extraordinary at that level. There are very few players like Messi, and I'm sure that Pep wouldn't dislike having him at City. 

"Pep has always seen Messi as the best, but he's at Barcelona. Josep has never wanted to hurt the club by taking the player."

What does the future hold for Guardiola?

While doubting that a deal for Messi will be done by his son, Valenti has also stated that Guardiola has no intention of taking charge of the Spain national side.

He will, however, support whatever decisions are made when it comes to life in the dugout.

Guardiola is tied to a contract at City through to the summer of 2023, with the 50-year-old - who has guided his current club into the Champions League final and is fast closing in on another Premier League title - in a position where he can dictate his own future.

Valenti added: "I've always belonged to Barcelona and I always want them to win. But I want Josep to win first. My son is first, then I also enjoy when Barcelona win.

"I'm very happy with the decisions he can make. He can coach Barcelona, retire, or whatever. At his age, I no longer have to teach him anything. Everything he does will make me happy."

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