According to a new book on Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi approached the Catalan about a shock move to Manchester City.
The departure of Lionel Messi from Barcelona is regarded as one of the most startling transfer tales in football history.
After his contract expired on July 1, 2021, the Argentine genius became a free agent, and negotiations on a new deal appeared impossible owing to Barcelona’s financial problems.
He was anticipated to sign a new contract with Barcelona after becoming a free agent, but he ended up joining PSG in August 2021, during the summer transfer window.
The World Cup winner agreed to a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 giants, with an option for an additional year. The rumor of Messi’s departure did not begin in the summer of 2021; its seeds were sown in August 2020, when Messi sent a burofax seeking his transfer.
According to Marti Perarnau’s latest book, God Save Pep, Messi wanted to join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City as well.
According to the book, Messi instructed former teammate and close friend Sergio Aguero to inquire into his contract situation at The Etihad. There was no direct communication between the two at first, and they finally met at the Catalan’s home in Barcelona.
Guardiola returned to his birthplace Barcelona after City were ousted from the Champions League following their loss to Lyon, and received a message from Messi. Messi texted “Hello, Pep. How are you?,” according to Sport, who disclosed the contents of the book.
According to the book, they met the next day at Guardiola’s house, and the Spaniard cautioned Messi about the inclement weather in Manchester.
In a long-distance conversation, the Argentine stated his disagreements with the Barcelona board. According to reports, the following conversation also took place:
“-In Manchester, we train very hard… (Guardiola)
-I will train hard, I’m not worried. (Messi)
-And I continued making long tactical talks. Maybe you’ll get bored…
-I’ll hold on. I will put up with everything you do.
-Leo, we have grown older. Maybe we can’t stand each other anymore.
-Pep, I just want to kill it.”
After Argentina won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Messi left PSG as a free agent during this year’s summer transfer window.
He was anticipated to return to Barcelona or join Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia at first. However, in an unexpected move, he joined David Beckham’s co-owned MLS outfit Inter Miami.