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Manchester City 'close to securing Lionel Messi signing, new Pep Guardiola deal'

Man City 'close to securing Messi signing and new Guardiola deal'
© Reuters
Manchester City are reportedly close to completing a blockbuster double deal which would see Lionel Messi join from Barcelona and Pep Guardiola sign a new contract.

Manchester City are reportedly close to completing two major pieces of business by signing Barcelona's Lionel Messi and tying manager Pep Guardiola down to a new contract.

City are understood to be leading the race for six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi after he submitted a transfer request at Barcelona earlier this week.

Such a move would see Messi reunite with Guardiola, under whom he won four of those six Ballons d'Or at Barca, although Guardiola's current deal is due to expire next summer.

However, The Mirror reports that signing Messi would convince Guardiola to put pen to paper on a new three-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Barcelona remain desperate to keep their talismanic captain but have begun planning for life without him, and Man City are one of the only clubs in world football that could realistically afford the 33-year-old.

Before handing in a transfer request, Messi is reported to have spoken to Guardiola about the possibility of joining City and the likelihood of the manager staying beyond the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

Guardiola has already spent longer at Man City than he had in any previous job, but would reportedly be willing to extend his stay by another three years if Messi was to join.


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Barcelona's Lionel Messi pictured in August 2020
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