The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola, has insisted that he has not tried to sign the four time ballon d'or winner,Lionel Messi for Manchester City but said that if the Argentinian ever decides to leave the Camp Nou, he will be among those waiting in the queue for him.However, Pepe Guardiola confirmed he moved for Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after his first choice target, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, drove back his advances in order to remain at the Nou Camp this summer, Guardiola rebutted claims by Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo last month that he had tapped up Messi, Neymar and other Barcelona stars.
“I did not call Messi because what I want is for him to play for Barcelona for many years,” Guardiola said, reacting to local media reports here. “I hope he ends his career here. But maybe one day the lad will decide that he wants to play somewhere else. Maybe he will want his kids to learn English, I don’t know. And if that happens, which I hope it won’t, then there will be a list of four, five or six clubs who will want to sign him.”
“If you are talking about this summer, I never called Messi, I never called Neymar, Luis Suarez, Busquets, Iniesta, I didn’t call anybody,” the City manager said.
“As for Ter Stegen, I knew that he wanted to play all the time. We got in touch. He wasn't happy with his situation. We needed a goalkeeper like Claudio or Ter Stegen. Claudio came and Ter Stegen decided to stay.
“If I ever called a player playing in any other club it would be in a special situation of [him] not playing, and it would be my right to. It is okay, I could have phoned someone if he was not playing, but I never called Leo Messi.
“In the case of Leo, I really wish him to play here and finish his career here [at Barcelona]. But maybe he will think, ‘OK, I want to go play somewhere else’ because maybe he wants his kids to speak English or live a different experience, like has happened to many of us.
“Maybe it could happen, but if he decides to go and it happens, there would be a list of seven or eight clubs that would want to sign him, and it would be down to him. Messi will decide where to go.”
Lionel Messi has had a tough time of it of late. But he could be rewarded with a new contract by Barcelona when he gets back from holiday. Mundo Deportivo say that the forward will sign until 2021, with his current deal ending in 2018.
In other press conference pepe asked about today's match against his old club, he said
“I would like to defend well and attack well and it is not possible [to change the way] you love to play football for one game because the players are not going to believe me.
“Obviously we have to adjust some things because of how they play but we have to be ourselves as much as possible.
“When they don’t have the ball they get organised very fast. In my time we were good in the short counter attack, now they are very good in the short and long counter attacks and it makes them very dangerous.
“I don’t know what instructions I can give to the defenders to control the talent [they have]. They will have a moment and when they have a moment they are so dangerous, they don’t need a lot of chances to score a goal.
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