Pep Guardiola has extended his stay at Etihad for two more years.
Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona has been the talk of the town as he there are no updates yet over his new contract, meaning that he can negotiate with other clubs in January ahead of a free transfer at the end of this season.
Manchester City stands at the top of the queue to recruit the Argentine and now Pep Guardiola’s new deal has further escalated the speculations.
Although Guardiola wants his former protege to hang up his boots while wearing the Blaugrana’s jersey, Messi can be the centre of the Spanish manager’s rebuild project.
One of the reasons for Guardiola to sign a contract with Citizens was for a squad overhaul to create a successful future. The signs were good following the additions of Ferran Torres, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake in the summer transfer window however Man City couldn’t make much of their spending spree after a disappointing start to the season.
City’s biggest criticism was their complacency in front of the attack and it can be solved with the signing of Messi. And Guardiola’s biggest nemesis to date, the Champions League, can also be conquered with the player with whom Guardiola managed to win it twice.
Messi had been previously unclear over Guardiola’s future at Etihad but the Spaniard’s new deal could facilitate the arrival of the Blaugrana skipper.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is said to be still unhappy with his long-time club despite the resignation of the president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who Messi pointed out Barca’s struggles over the years.
The new president, who are expected to gain powers in January, has a bigger task of persuading Messi to stay at the Nou Camp.