Yaya Toure says Manchester City are one of the only Premier League clubs that could realistically sign Lionel Messi, but admits he struggles to see a deal being done.
Messi is reportedly considering leaving Barcelona after losing faith in the way the club is being run.
The humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final is also believed to be a contributing factor to his unrest.
And Man City could capitalise on his situation by launching an audacious bid to sign the Argentine this summer.
Pep Guardiola, who of course worked with Messi at Barcelona, would no doubt jump at the chance to take him to the Etihad.
But City legend Toure says he can’t see the transfer going through due to Messi’s long-standing commitment to his current side.
Speaking to the Daily Star (via Goal) he said: “It is going to be complicated. From what I know, Messi loves Barcelona.
“He loves the city, he loves the club, he loves the philosophy there.
“But if he had to leave the club, maybe he could come to City. Why? Because City have the money to buy him and there are only a few clubs in the Premier League who can afford him, to be honest.
“If he comes to City he is going to be good for City because the rest of the Premier League is quite intense and hard as well.”
Messi not suited to the Premier League?
Toure also questioned whether Messi would suit the style of football in England. While he is arguably the best player to have ever played the game, he is not known for his defensive qualities.
Having played in the Premier League for eight years, Toure is familiar with the expectation to get back and defend no matter your position.
And that side of the game is something that he thinks could prove to be an issue for Messi should he make the move.
“The way Messi plays, few managers are going to love him because he just sits off to the side and does not want to defend much,” he added.
“In England – depending on who is going to criticise him for that – they want you to work, defend and attack and it is not easy.
“But if he came to England, I could see him playing for City because Guardiola knows him better and he could put him in this City team to play his football.
“I have a little bit of doubt that he is going to leave Barcelona, to be honest. Barcelona all boils down to Messi. If Messi leaves there is going to be a massive gap.”