Pep Guardiola is reported to have told friends that Lionel Messi will be ‘central to his plans’ if he takes over at Manchester City.
Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday that he wants to move to the Premier League this summer and “has offers”, though he said he has not yet decided on which opportunity he will take up.
Manchester United and Chelsea have been mentioned as potential destinations, but City have long been regarded as the favourites to land the 44-year-old, with United ‘reluctant to get into a bidding war’, according to The Sun.
Guardiola and Messi fell out towards the end of the Spaniard’s reign at the Nou Camp but have since patched up their relationship, the newspaper claims, teeing up the prospect of a sensational summer move for the 28-year-old.
City are said to have continued negotations with Messi’s representatives over La Liga’s winter break, promising to pay any fines Messi incurs for alleged tax evasion in Spain — something Barca have refused.
They apparently want Barcelona to accept a £120million bid rather than demanding Argentine’s £190million buyout clause.