Spanish football expert Semra Hunter has made the bold claim that Manchester City are no longer interested to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
City were thought to be the most likely destination for the 33-year-old last summer after he handed in a transfer request to the La Liga side, although he ended up staying at the Camp Nou because he didn’t want to involve his beloved club in a legal dispute.
The Argentine will be out of contract at the conclusion of this campaign and will be available on a free transfer.
He can start negotiations with potential suitors from January, and it is looking likely that he will make a reunion with his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
However, as per Hunter, the Premier League side are no longer interested in signing the football superstar, with his age and astronomical wages thought to be a concern for them.
“I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi,” He told Sky Sports. “Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed.
Manchester City have ended their pursuit of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, according to Spanish football expert @SemraHunter.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 22, 2020
“They have their reasons for this. They have two reasons for this: age and finances. Talking about age, he is heading into the twilight years of his career and you’ll be bringing on board a Messi that is different to what we’ve seen for the last 17 years with Barcelona. Even he himself has said that he is getting closer to the dreaded r-word of retirement more so than anyone cares to admit.
“That goes hand-in-hand with finances because even though he would be able to join for free, his wages are astronomically high – he is earning about 100m euros-a-year. That would be a huge financial burden for any club to take on, especially given the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.”
The 33-year-old’s side are currently struggling in La Liga, with the Catalans placed 12th in the table after three defeats and two draws.
Their latest setback came at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium where Atletico Madrid prevailed by a goal, thanks to a goal from Carrasco.
Ronald Koeman’s side will now clash Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League this week.