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Manchester City transfer news: Lionel Messi wants reunion with Pep Guardiola - report

Lionel Messi
(Image credit: PA)

Manchester City is Lionel Messi's preferred destination as he plots his next move, according to reports.

Barcelona confirmed on Thursday that their greatest ever player would not be extending his stay at the Camp Nou.

Messi's contract expired on June 30 but the Argentina international and the Blaugrana agreed a new five-year deal in principle.

Barcelona had been hoping to formalise that contract this month, but they have now admitted defeat in their attempt to keep hold of Messi while also meeting La Liga's economic rules.

The 34-year-old will therefore be plying his trade elsewhere in the 2021/22 campaign.

PSG are at the front of the queue for his signature and are one of only a handful of clubs would be able to afford to meet Messi's demands.

But according to Marca, the Argentine would still prefer to move to Manchester City.

The Spanish publication states that Messi is keen to be reunited with Pep Guardiola, under whose management he enjoyed great success at Barcelona.

However, it is unclear whether City will be able to afford Messi having just splashed out £100m on Jack Grealish.

The Premier League champions are also pursuing Harry Kane, who is keen to move to the Eithad Stadium.

"We spent £40m on Jack Grealish. We paid £100m and brought in £60m [from player sales," Guardiola said on Friday. 

"He will wear the No.10 because we were convinced with Grealish and we were convinced Leo would continue at Barcelona, so right now he is not in our thoughts."

It would be fascinating to see Messi plying his trade in the Premier League, and Chelsea are also thought to be exploring the possibility of bringing him to England.

As things stand, though, it is hard to see Messi ending up anywhere other than PSG.

The French giants have the financial means to pull the deal off, and Messi has already spoken with their manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Perhaps there are still twists and turns to come, however...

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