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Messi to City 'impossible', says Begiristain

A Manchester City swoop for Lionel Messi before the transfer window closes has been dismissed as "impossible" by Txiki Begiristain.

With ex-Barca chief executive Ferran Soriano and sporting director Begiristain joined last year by the Catalan giants' former coach Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, City have been touted as one of the most likely destinations should Messi seek to leave Camp Nou.

The concept of Barca being vulnerable to interest in the Argentina international, who has agreed a new four-year contract but is yet to sign it, appeared laughable in recent years, but Neymar's shock €222million departure for Paris Saint-Germain has prompted a reassessment of that stance.

Nevertheless, Begiristain, speaking at the draw for the Champions League group stage on Thursday, rejected the suggestion City could attempt to stage such a stunning coup in the next week. 

"It's impossible," he said. 

"He [Messi] will stay at Barcelona."

According to Begiristain, City will only add to their squad before August 31 if an enticing opportunity presents itself, the club having already brought in Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Danilo, among others, at great expense.

"We can try to do some movement but now we are very happy," he said.

"If something happens in the last days our job is always to be ready. If we think we can improve the squad, we will do it. As we are now, we are really happy."

City's sporting director claimed it was highly unlikely the club would seek to land a major marquee target at short notice, despite having previously been linked with Monaco's Kylian Mbappe.

"It's not our job to do it today or tomorrow," he said. 

"When you try to get those kind of players you have to move much earlier. It's impossible to do it now in the last days."

City will take on Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli and Feyenoord in Group F of the Champions League.