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Manchester City will try to sign Lionel Messi if he ever leaves Barcelona, says Pep Guardiola

Sumedh Pande
20.25K   //    19 Oct 2016, 16:54 IST
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 15:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the  La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou stadium on October 15, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi will line up against his former manager Pep Guardiola tonight

Ahead of potentially the biggest European clash of this season, as Manchester City face FC Barcelona, Pep Guardiola looked confident in his pre-match press conference as he said that City will go for the win at the Nou Camp. He also spoke about Lionel Messi's future and also on his wish to get united with the Barca talisman at the Etihad. The Argentine's future was the question that got Guardiola excited as he hoped that Messi would at some time consider his future away from the Catalans.

City have been Messi's admirers since long and Guardiola's wish to reunite with one of the greatest players of all time could make the owners more confident in bringing Messi to Manchester. Ahead of the big game, Guardiola tried to lure Messi by saying, "In the case of Leo, I really wish him to play at Barcelona and finish his career here. But maybe he will think, ‘okay I want to go play somewhere else’ because maybe he wants his kids to speak English or live a different experience, like happened to many of us. Maybe it could happen.”

Guardiola continued, "But if he decides to go and it happens, there would be a list of seven or eight clubs that would want to sign him, and it would be down to him. Messi will decide where to go. "

Did not call any Barcelona players

The Spaniard was also asked about the reports that stated Guardiola wanted four Barcelona players in the summer and was in touch with his former team players.

Guardiola rejected these rumours as he said defiantly, "If you are talking about this summer, I never called Messi. I never called Neymar, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, I didn't call anybody. " But he revealed that Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was his first choice to replace Joe Hart at the start of the season but then opted to sign Claudio Bravo.

On Lionel Messi's return to form after recuperating from an injury, Guardiola said, "I'm going to play against Barca first of all, not Messi. But the best player is Leo, of course. I'm happy that he recovered from injury. I'm happy to see him back on the pitch. It's always a great to see him play. I'm glad he's fit for tomorrow."

Both the teams will go into the fixture tonight with fortunes that are poles apart as City drew 1-1 with Everton as the Citizens haven't won a game in their last three games whereas Barcelona beat Deportivo 4-0 in the Catalans' last league game. 

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Sumedh Pande
An avid Premier League watcher with specialization in transfer news and post match analysis. Follow European and Indian football with minute attention with one eye on the world of cricket.
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