Manchester City ‘ready to admit defeat’ in ambitious attempt to sign Lionel Messi after ‘player’s advisors confirm Barcelona stay’
Manchester City’s hopes of pulling off the most ambitious transfer of all time and signing Lionel Messi from Barcelona have been dashed.
The Premier League giants had been monitoring the unfolding situation in Catalonia, as Messi publicly quarreled with Barca director of football Eric Abidal.
Now, however, City are ‘read to admit defeat’ after supposedly being contacted by the player’s representatives and informed Messi will not be leaving, according to the Express.
Lionel Messi is set to stay with Barcelona this summer despite ongoing unrest
Messi and Abidal’s spectacular fall-out came after the latter suggested that members of the squad were responsible for Ernesto Valverde losing his job last month.
That has raised questions over the future of the Barcelona captain at the Nou Camp and with interest from City among a host of other teams, Abidal even admitted that agreeing a new deal brings with it complications.
City are one of the few clubs in European football who could afford to match Messi’s astronomical weekly wages which sit north of the £600,000 mark.
The snub means Pep Guardiola will be denied the chance to work with his former star pupil
But it is now claimed that Messi’s people are making it clear that the six-times Ballon d’Or winner will not be leaving Barca and will remain with the club who he has spent all of his professional career.
The snub means City manager Pep Guardiola will be denied the chance to work with the player who he developed into a world class talent in Spain.
Barca remain keen to tie Messi down to a new deal, though a clause in his current contract dictates that he can walk away for free at the end of the season.
Sportsmail understands that the build-up of frustrations over the failure to sign Neymar last summer and the failure to sign a single forward in January to replace long-term injury casualty Luis Suarez, plus the bungled attempts to bring back Xavi, came to a head on Tuesday when he read an interview with sporting director Abidal in which he felt the players were being blamed for the chaos.
Barca chief Eric Abidal admits it is ‘never easy’ to get such a talented player to stay at the club
This is not the first time Messi has spoken out publicly against those that run the club.
In December 2013 director Javier Faus made comments about the frequency of Messi’s contract renewals. Messi responded: ‘Mr Faus is someone who knows nothing about football and who tries to run Barcelona as if it were a business. It is not.’