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Guardiola denies he tried to bring Messi to Man City

FILE PHOTO: Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his fourth goal with coach Pep Guardiola against Espanyol during their Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona May 5, 2012.
FILE PHOTO: Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates his fourth goal with coach Pep Guardiola against Espanyol during their Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona May 5, 2012. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino/File Photo
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed Spanish media reports that he tried to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona last year in a world record deal, Reuters reported on Saturday 

The El Mundo newspaper had reported the Argentine forward was offered a five-year 250 million euro net ($285.55 million) deal, with City also prepared to pay a 250 million release clause. 

It said City's chief executive Ferran Soriano, a former Barcelona general manager, and Messi's father and agent Jorge discussed a deal at the height of a political crisis in Catalonia over a campaign for independence from Spain. 

Guardiola, a former Barcelona player and manager, said on Friday he had not tried to sign Messi at any of the clubs he had managed after leaving Spain. 

"When I left Barcelona and I went to Bayern Munich and Manchester City I never, never asked Lionel Messi to come to join Bayern Munich or here when I was manager," he told reporters. 

"I never went to both clubs and said I want this player. Never. 

"I know how important is this guy for Barcelona. Myself, I never spoke with the clubs, I never made the first step to say I want this player. Never. 

"I said a thousand times I want him to stay at Barcelona." 

Barca's all-time top scorer signed a new contract last November, seven months before his old deal expired. It runs until June 2021 and now contains a 700 million euro ($843 million) buy-out clause. 

El Mundo reported in January that Messi had a clause in it allowing him to leave Barcelona without a transfer fee if Catalonia ceded from Spain and the club did not compete in any of Europe's top four leagues.
Last Modified: Sunday، 04 November 2018 12:55 PM
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