Messi ‘wants to reunite with Guardiola in Man City’

Barcelona’s wantaway captain, Lionel Messi, reportedly wants to rejoin his former coach, Pep Guardiola, in Manchester City.

The 33-year-old football superstar had dropped the mother of all bombshells on Tuesday after he told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club, after spending nearly 20 years with the Spanish giants.

Messi communicated his intention to Barcelona about 11 days after their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League (UEFA) quarter-finals, one of the heaviest defeats in the club’s rich history.

Marcelo Bechler, a journalist with Esporte Interativo.Bechler, who was first to break news of Neymar’s departure from Barcelona, reported that Messi wants to play for Manchester City.

The journalist, who works with the Brazilian Sports station, also discussed the situation surrounding Messi’s possible exit from the Catalan club.

“Messi wants to play for Manchester City. Treat the departure of Barcelona as something that hurts the soul, but the end of a cycle,” he wrote.

He said that it remains to be seen if Messi would pay a fine or be allowed to leave on a free based on contract stipulations.

ESPN quoted sources as saying that Guardiola and Messi spoke on the phone last week to discuss the possibility of his move to England this summer.

Tancredi Palmeri, a correspondent for belN Sports, also quoted Radio Catalunya as confirming that Messi has already contacted his former boss about a move to the Etihad.

Guardiola and Messi spent four years together at Barca, between 2008 and 2012, where they won 14 trophies for the club.

Messi also won 28 awards in that four-year period, including three Balon d’Ors and two European Golden Shoe awards. He scored 211 goals and made 88 assists from 219 games played during the Guardiola era at Barcelona.

Lionel Messi joined Barcelona as a 14-year-old teenager in 2001, where he rose through the ranks, made his first team debut at 16 and was moulded into the now-famous false nine position by Guardiola from where he has amassed 40 or more goals in 11 of 16 seasons at Barcelona.


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