Blow for EPL giants: Messi will not leave Barcelona

Sankha Ghosh / 12 January 2016

The Argentine superstar, who won his fifth Ballon d’Or on Monday, has been heavily linked with a potential reunion with his former manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Lionel Messi has made it clear that he will not leave Barcelona at the end of this season.

The Argentine was awarded his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy in Zurich as he pipped Cristiano Ronaldo and his Barca team-mate Neymar to the prize.

He has certainly enjoyed another outstanding year, winning five silverwares with Barcelona and scoring a sensational 48 goals.

However, there have been so many reports heavily linking the Argentine maestro with Manchester City and a potential reunion with Pep Guardiola, if he moves to Manchester City.

But speaking at the prestigious ceremony on Monday, Lionel Messi insisted right now he has no plans to make move to the Premier League.

“I want to keep succeeding with the club,” Messi revealed.

“Now is not the time to think about whether this is (my) peak. It’s more important that we keep trying to win, that we work hard. It’s a lot to think about.

“I’ve always said that (I can’t leave Barcelona). It’s always my response. I want to finish my career at home.

“My home is Barcelona. Football changes so much. A year ago, we were all getting criticised and we ended up winning nearly everything. My intention is to terminate my career where it started, in Barcelona.”

Messi was also named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI where he joined Barca-mates Neymar, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique clinched the World Coach of the Year award following the Catalan giants’ domination.

But it wasn’t a clean sweep as Brazilian Wendell Lira unexpectedly pipped Messi to the Puskas Award.

Last week it was reported that Pep Guardiola supposedly gave the Manchester City board an initial transfer list, and also told them to initiate the necessary process to sign four world-class talents if they wants him next season at the Etihad.

The short-list believed to have included Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique from Barcelona, the versatile defensive midfielder David Alaba from Bayern Munich and Paul Pogba from Juventus.

It’s certainly an expensive shopping list but, in his relatively short managerial career, Pep Guardiola has managed to bring world class talents to Barcelona and Bayern, ranging from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to David Villa to Cesc Fabregas to Robert Lewandowski. This list would go on if he finally takes charge at Etihad.

Last season also Manchester City explored all the possibilities to sign Messi and Guardiola’s arrival could again ignite their interest, this time even bigger. City have already bought centre-backs in last four summer transfer windows but still heavily dependent on Vincent Kompany, which indicates the possible interest in the three-time Champions League winner and former Manchester United centre-back Pique.



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