REVEALED: Lionel Messi’s meeting with Pep Guardiola for shock transfer to Manchester City in 2020
According to a new book on Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi offered himself to the Catalan for a shock transfer to Manchester City.
Lionel Messi's departure from Barcelona is considered to be one of the most shocking transfer stories in football history. The Argentine genius became a free agent on July 1 2021 after his contract expired, and negotiations on a new deal didn't seem possible due to Barcelona's financial issues. After he became a free agent, there were rumours that he still expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona, but ended up joining PSG in August 2021, during the summer transfer window.
The World Cup winner signed a two-year deal with the Ligue 1 giants, and it also included an option for an extra year. The departure rumour didn't just start in the summer of 2021, its seeds were laid in August 2020, when Messi sent a burofax, demanding for his transfer. According to Marti Perarnau's new book, God Save Pep, it has been revealed that Messi also wanted to join Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.
According to the book, Messi informed former teammate and close friend Sergio Aguero, to ask Guardiola about his contract status at The Etihad. Initially, there was no direct exchange between the pair, and they finally met at the Catalan's home in Barcelona.
After City were eliminated from the Champions League after their defeat vs Lyon, Guardiola travelled to his hometown Barcelona, and received a message from Messi. According to Sport, who revealed the details from the book, Messi texted, "Hello, Pep. How are you?"
The book further claims that they met at Guardiola's house the next day, and the Spaniard warned Messi about the rainy weather in Manchester. The Argentine explained his differences with the Barcelona board in a conversation that lasted for years. The following exchange also took place reportedly:
"-In Manchester we train very hard… (Guardiola)
-I will train hard, I’m not worried. (Messi)
-And I continued making long tactical talks. Maybe you’ll get bored…
-I’ll hold on. I will put up with everything you do.
-Leo, we have grown older. Maybe we can’t stand each other anymore.
-Pep, I just want to kill it."
After winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentina in qatar, Messi once again departed as free agent from PSG during this year's summer transfer window. Initially, he was expected to return to Barcelona or join Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia. But a shock move saw him join David Beckham co-owned MLS team Inter Miami.