Lionel Messi: Guardiola Reportedly Turned Down Attempts to Bring Ex Player to Manchester City

Lionel Messi: Guardiola Reportedly Turned Down Attempts to Bring Ex Player to Manchester City

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
  • wasLionel Messi reportedly begged Pep Guardiola for a chance to move to Manchester City
  • Messi is said to have reached out to his former boss, Guardiola, through Serio Aguero
  • Guardiola had reservations before the club went ahead to sign Jack Grealish a year later

New reports have indicated that Lionel Messi was ready to move to Manchester City in 2020 but failed to get the blessing of Pep Guardiola.

Messi, who has often confessed his love for Barcelona, had started falling out with the then President Josep Baromeu and was looking for possible destinations if he decided to leave.

Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Manchester City
Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi during their Barcelona days. Photo by Laurence Griffiths.
Source: Getty Images

In a new book called God Save Pep by Marti Perarnau, the author alleges that Messi and Guardiola had a secret meeting over a possible move to Manchester.

Inside Messi's, Guardiola's alleged meeting

However, as reported in the Mirror, Guardiola is said to have been worried about Messi's suitability for the Premier League given his advanced age. The Argentine was 33 years old then.

The former Barcelona captain allegedly tried to plead with Guardiola to sign him for the Premier League giants. The Spanish head Coach is undoubtedly one of the most revered in Messi's history, given how well they understood each other at the height of Barcelona's dominance.

Manchester City's hierarchy at that time was interested in signing Jack Grealish and Harry Kane. They signed the former for a then British record fee of 100 million euros, with Tottenham Hotspur CEO Daniel Levy standing firm on Kane. The Three Lions skipper joined Bayern Munich this season.

Messi left Barcelona the following season after it became apparent the club could no longer pay his wages. He signed for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

Guardiola shares his 'seduction' tactic

Sports Brief has also reported that having won numerous titles in three different countries; Pep Guardiola is arguably one of the most successful coaches in the world.

Most of the credit usually goes to the players, but the buck stops with the manager and his ability to turn 'nobodies' into a team that can actively compete for titles.

He recently lifted the lid on how he uses his physical features to 'seduce' his players to grasp his instructions quickly.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Pep Guardiola