‘Man City will welcome Messi if he leaves Barca before end of his career’

Lionel-MessiManchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano says the club would ‘open the doors wide’ for Lionel Messi if he leaves Barcelona before the end of his career.

Messi destroyed City in the Champions League on Wednesday night, scoring a hat-trick as Pep Guardiola was beaten 4-0 on his return to the Nou Camp.

Guardiola had indicated on the eve of the match that City would be interested in the Argentina star if he ever left his spiritual home at Barcelona.

City believe they would be first in the queue if that were to happen, and Soriano did not hold back on expressing his interest in signing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

He said: ‘Messi is the best player in the world. If one day he wants to come to City, we would open the doors wide for him. ‘However, Soriano echoed Guardiola’s denial over reports in Spain that City had made contact with Messi or their old club over signing him in the summer.

He added: ‘We didn’t call him. The natural thing for Messi is to finish his career in Barcelona. We haven’t made any offers to any Barcelona players.

What usually happens is that there are agents that call Barca who say they have an offer from City and after, Barcelona call us to ask if it’s true.

With Barca we talk often. We have a good relationship with (president Joesp Maria) Bartomeu. Before the summer we met and we spoke about the players that were of interest to us so that agents didn’t trick us.’ 

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