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05:56 PM | Wed, 07 Dec 2016

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Man City Confident They Could Lure Messi

259 Days ago
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pep 22316

Manchester City firmly believe that they would be Lionel Messi's first choice of club should he ever decide to leave Barcelona.While City's hierarchy are aware of how deeply embedded Messi is at the Spanish club and how difficult it would be to sign him, their confidence that he would want to come to them indicates that -detailed conversations have taken place about the world's best player.The arrival at City next season of Pep Guardiola, working alongside the former Barcelona axis of chief -executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain, also makes the club, they believe, the likely destination of any of Barca's star players should they leave the Nou Camp.Messi's contract at Barcelona runs to at least 2018 there are suggestions it is 2019 by which time he will be 31 and the likelihood is that he will be offered another extension before then.If, however, he either expressed a desire to leave or Barcelona -decided to cash in on him then City would definitely join the bidding and crucially believe that he would want to come to them above other clubs throughout Europe.It would be a dream for City to reunite Guardiola and Messi at their club and the appointment of the manager has raised the expectation of the profile of player who can now be attracted to the Etihad. Guardiola succeeds Manuel Pellegrini as manager this summer and, -according to City sources, is already -receiving calls from leading players in the Premier League and around the world expressing a desire to come and join him.There will be four or five new signings at City this summer - the signings would have happened even if Guardiola was not coming, but what will be different, it is hoped, is the calibre of player who can now be secured.Talks are already under way to try to sign the Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and City remain interested in Juventus's Paul Pogba and the Everton pair of John Stones and Ross Barkley.

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