Guardiola urges Messi to stay at Barcelona

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down suggestions that Lionel Messi could join him at Manchester and believes the forward will end his playing days at Barcelona.

Messi has spent his career with Barca but has a clause allowing him to leave for free in June this year.

Guardiola coached Messi at the Nou Camp between 2008 and 2012, winning 3 La Liga and 2 UEFA Champions League titles.

“He will stay there and that’s my wish. I think he will finish his career there, I am not going to talk about players for other clubs,” said Guardiola.

Messi spoke out this week against Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal after the Frenchman accused players of not working hard under former coach Ernesto Valverde creating fears the player is not happy at the club.

Messi, who has won the Ballon d’Or player award six times, 10 league titles and four Champions Leagues, is under contract until 2021.

The 32-year-old’s disgruntlement, along with a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for free at the end of the season, has led to reports he could be set to move to City.

By Ofhani Munyai

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