London (AP) – Signs of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi’s change from FC Barcelona to Manchester City, England’s second, are mounting – even though there is now a French competitor.
According to media reports, Messi would have spoken with his former coach Pep Guardiola, who now works at City, about his departure from Barcelona. Liverpool master maker Jürgen Klopp would welcome a switch to the Premier League.
The British newspaper “The Times” wrote about an alleged telephone conversation between Messi and Guardiola. The online portals “Goal” and “Spox” also reported about it. After Messi told his former sponsor that he was planning to move, Guardiola is said to have announced that he would be campaigning to commit the 33-year-old to Man City bosses.
According to the Times, Barça’s city boss and former vice president Ferran Soriano is even in Spain’s Catalonia region to meet Messi’s father Jorge for talks next week.
However, there could still be a financially strong competitor for City. The Spanish newspaper “Ole” reported Friday that PSG sports director Leonardo had also contacted Jorge Messi. Both clubs could meet the Argentinian’s high wage demands, and from a sporting point of view, the Premier League with City is clearly the more attractive challenge for Messi.
The Liverpool manager would like Messi to move to the Premier League. “Messi has never played in any league other than Spain,” said Klopp. “Football is different here. I’d love to see it. But I’m not sure it will happen.” He said, “It would clearly help Man City and make it harder to beat them.”
Would he be interested in Messi himself? “Who wouldn’t want Messi on their team,” Klopp replied, amused. “But there is no chance. Still a good player of course.”
Provided Messi actually comes out of his contract with Barça, the chances for City are almost never. Not least thanks to Pep Guardiola. Messi played under the Spanish star coach in Barcelona from 2008 to 2012. In addition to countless national titles, the duo won the Champions League twice together. And as you know, this is at the top of the wish list at Manchester City.