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Pep Guardiola wants Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona but drops transfer hint

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Pep Guardiola has made his feelings on Lionel Messi clear – but did drop a hint on when Manchester City could make a move.

The Argentine, who has spent his entire illustrious career at the Nou Camp, threw the footballing world into chaos when he expressed a desire to leave Barcelona in the summer.

And the period saw him linked most heavily with a Guardiola reunion at City, with the pair winning three La Ligas and two Champions Leagues in Spain.

But the 33-year-old performed a U-turn days after the announcement, choosing to spend a 17th senior season with Barcelona.

While speculation has continued over a future move from Guardiola’s side, the manager has made an admission about his hopes for the forward.

Speaking ahead of City’s Premier League game against Tottenham, the Spaniard said: “Messi is a Barcelona player. I said it a thousand times. As a fan, I want Leo to finish there.

“His contract finishes this year [season] and I don't know what will happen in his mind.”

But the Spaniard did drop a hint about when a possible move could take place from the four-time Premier League champions.

“Right now Messi is a Barcelona player and the transfer market is in June and July,” Guardiola added.

“We have incredible games and targets and things we would like to achieve. That is the only thing in our mind. The rest, I cannot say anything.”

Messi has scored 640 goals in more than 700 appearances, helping him win six Ballon D’Ors over an incredible career.

But Barcelona fans have been left concerned about his commitment to the club after an outburst following arrival back in Spain from a Champions League fixture.

And, while enjoying success with Guardiola, Messi has been slammed as “difficult to manage” by former boss Quique Setien.

It comes as City could move as early as January to secure a pre-contract agreement with the forward.

  • Lionel Messi
  • Pep Guardiola
  • Transfer news

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