Lionel Messi: Manchester City distance themselves from move for Barcelona forward


Barcelona suffered a 4-1 Champions League defeat to Paris St-Germain on TuesdayManchester City are distancing themselves from links with a move for Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

The Argentina forward is out of contract in the summer.

The likelihood of another early Champions League exit for Barcelona has fuelled speculation he is could quit the Nou Camp.

Uncertainty remains due to the ongoing presidential elections at Barca, with all candidates saying they are determined to keep the 33-year-old.

Messi has won six Ballon D’Or trophies in a stellar career that has seen him generally accepted as one of the finest players ever.

City have long been touted as an alternative, partly due to the link with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, although Paris St-Germain are also thought to be interested.

It has been reported City have tabled a revised offer for Messi but BBC Sport has been told by a club source this is not true – and that no offers have been made, either in the summer, or since and there are currently no talks.

Messi had looked set to join City after putting in a transfer request in August, only for Barcelona’s then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu to block the move before resigning in October.

‘Messi is a fantasy – City should pick Haaland’Match of the Day pundit Jermaine Jenas, the former Tottenham midfielder, believes Borussia Dortmund’s 20-year-old Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland is Manchester City’s best option in the transfer market.

Haaland has 25 goals in 24 appearances in all competitions this season for Bundesliga side Dortmund, including eight goals in five Champions League matches.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Friday Football Social, Jenas said: “I don’t think they need Messi. That deal is going to impact what they can do from a financial fair play standpoint.

“Manchester City need a striker. I’d go with Erling Haaland. That’s where they should focus every penny in their bank account right now.

“Go and get one of most exciting young strikers on the planet. I don’t think Kylian Mbappe is achievable, personally. Haaland is achievable and he’s more what they need than what they want.

“The Messi thing is a bit of a fantasy. Its something we’d all love to see but I’m not sure its actually in the best interest of City.”

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