Reports from Spain this week have detailed the heartfelt exchange between Argentine football legend Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola over a Manchester City transfer.
The possibility of a reunion emerged in the summer of 2020, when the current Premier League champions were heavily linked with a sensational move for the Barcelona legend, who had been insistent on bringing an end to his stay in Catalunya due to a break down in relations with the club’s hierarchy.
Such a move would never come to the table however, and Lionel Messi would later go on to confirm his stay with Barcelona for the duration of the 2020/21 campaign before leaving the club in the next summer for French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
A deal with Manchester City did not happen without the want of trying however, as the nature of conversations involving the player himself and Pep Guardiola have now been revealed ahead of the release of a book into the Etihad boss.
According to information relayed by Spanish newspaper Sport and translated by Sport Witness, covering the imminent release of journalist Martí Perarnau’s book ‘God save Pep’, the efforts to bring Lionel Messi to Manchester City three years ago have now been revealed.
The staggering new details are covered in a chapter titled “I just want to break it,” in which Perarnau covers the potential arrival of Lionel Messi to the Etihad Stadium – an idea triggered by the player’s compatriot and close friend Sergio Aguero.
It is claimed that the Manchester City legend sent a WhatsApp stating, ‘Watch out, two things can happen. Leo (Messi) asked me how long Pep (Guardiola) has a contract with City’ – a text that ‘triggered alerts’ within the Etihad Stadium, and a message that the City boss read on his return from the club’s defeat to Olympique Lyonnais in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Guardiola is said to have then received a message of his own, this time from Lionel Messi himself reading, “Hello Pep, how are you?” as Sport suggest that it also confirmed the Argentina star’s decision to leave Barcelona and his desire to ‘meet his teacher again’ at Manchester City.
A meeting between Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi at the Manchester City manager’s home in Barcelona then followed, as the Camp Nou icon told his former coach, “Mister, I just want to break it,” before he was then told in response, “It rains a lot in Manchester” as they spoke for hours about a potential transfer.
Despite the best attempts of all parties, including Manchester City officials and Lionel Messi’s entourage, a deal would never come to fruition largely due to his €750 million release clause that remained in his Barcelona agreement at the time.
Martí Perarnau’s book, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness’ report, also reveals some ‘succulent dialogue’ – according to Sport – to close the chapter on a fascinating turn of events that could have led to one of the biggest deals in football history.
Pep Guardiola: “In Manchester we train very hard…”
Lionel Messi: “I will train hard, I’m not worried…”
Pep Guardiola: “And I continued making long tactical talks. Maybe you’ll get bored…”
Lionel Messi: “I’ll hold on. I will put up with everything you do…”
Pep Guardiola: “Leo, we have grown older. Maybe we can’t stand each other anymore…”
Lionel Messi: “Pep, I just want to break it…”
Lionel Messi is now plying his trade in Major League Soccer, revolutionising the league as a whole and their consumption of football, whilst also raising the global profile of Inter Miami to a level never before seen by a United States club.
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