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Pep Guardiola says he’s never tried to sign Lionel Messi and wants him to stay at Barcelona

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The Manchester City boss has given his view

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - Liga BBVA Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola says he’s never tried to sign Lionel Messi and wants him to stay at Barcelona.

There’s been speculation about Manchester City interest in Messi in the past, and it raised its head again this week.

A report in El Mundo claimed City were willing to spend €250 million on Messi, before he signed a new deal in 2017, but Guardiola says he’s never asked his club to bring the Argentine to the Premier League.

“When I left Barcelona and went to Bayern Munich and Manchester City I never asked Messi to come here,” he said. “I never went to both clubs and said I want this player.

“I know how important he is for Barcelona. 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. I want that.”

Source | Evening Standard

The new deal Messi signed in 2017 saw his release clause raised to €700m, putting him out of the reach of most clubs. He said at the time his “dream” was to retire at Barcelona.