Manchester City deny Lionel Messi approach

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In light of recent speculative reports on the matter, Manchester City have moved to deny that any approach for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has been made for their part.

The saga about the future of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been going on since early last summer. His contract with Barcelona contained a special clause which enabled him to leave, had he wished to do so, at the end of each season as a free agent.

Following unrest at the club which lasted through a large part of 2019-20, Messi decided to take up that option and asked to leave after Barcelona suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat in the Champions League quarterfinals at the hands of eventual winners Bayern Munich. But the club rejected his demand, stating that the clause had expired by that time and that if Messi wanted to leave, he’d have needed to get his destination club to pay his full buyout clause standing at a whopping €700 million. Messi then chose not to go to court and stayed put.

However, his contract expires in four months and unless an agreement over a new one is found in that timeframe, there’s nothing Barcelona will be able to do to stop him from leaving.

Manchester City were mostly mentioned as the club the 33-year-old forward wanted to join last summer, with the prospect of working with Pep Guardiola again said to have appealed to him the most along with a lucrative contract offer. The stories have resurfaced these days, along with strong links with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

But Sky Sports have now relayed a statement from a City spokesperson, which said that the Premier League leaders have made no move for Messi, either last summer or at any point since.