Men's Team

Guardiola: “Messi not in our thoughts”

Pep Guardiola says Lionel Messi is not currently on City’s radar after the brilliant Argentine’s shock Barcelona exit – and also responded to whether Harry Kane was a possible target for the Club.

The Catalan has never hidden his admiration for Messi and it was inevitable he would be asked about whether City would be interested in his availability at the first press conference of the season ahead of Saturday’s FA Community Shield clash with Leicester.

Guardiola admitted he was surprised at yesterday’s announcement from Barcelona but ruled out any move for Messi at this time.

“We spent £40 million on Jack Grealish  - we paid £100m and £60m of that was raised from transfers,” said Pep.


“He will wear the number 10. We were convinced by Grealish and convinced Leo would stay at Barca. Right now he is not in our thoughts.”

As a lifelong fan of the La Liga giants, the City boss was also keen to pay tribute to Messi’s outstanding contribution, both during his time as manager at the Nou Camp and the years that followed.

“It was a surprise for everyone, me included,” he said.

“The president was clear on the reason why. I didn't speak with the player or president so I don't know what happened. But when you have a lot of money lost the decision has been made.

“But as a supporter of my club, I would love for him to finish there.


“As a fan, I have incredible gratitude for the most extraordinary player I have seen in my life.

“To win trophies for Barcelona, to help me win and go to Bayern and then on to City.

“To watch what he can do with the ball, with his mates in a football game. Day by day, game by game, he made something unique.

“All I can say is thank you so much to bring Barcelona to another level, to allow Barcelona to dominate the world for a decade with him and his mates.

“I wish him the best for the rest of his career. His contribution helped the club to reach another level.”

City have also been linked with Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane throughout the summer and Pep was asked whether he was a player the Club intends on pursuing or not.

Said Guardiola: “He’s playing for Tottenham Hotspur. If Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, it’s finished.

“If they are open to negotiate, not just with Man City, all the top clubs will try to sign him.

“It's different from Jack - Jack had a release clause. Harry Kane is an exceptional, extraordinary striker, no doubts.

“We are interested, but he is a Tottenham player. If they don't want to sell they don’t, but if they want, we can try.”