'Messi has to stay in Barcelona' - Guardiola rules out move at Man City presentation
Pep Guardiola has ruled out Manchester City signing Barcelona star Lionel Messi during his tenure at the club.
The former Barca and Bayern Munich boss was presented as City's new manager at a fans' event on Sunday, where he also held a Q&A with supporters.
Guardiola, 45, was not asked about Messi as one of the scheduled questions, but one supporter shouted out to ask if he had any plans to sign the Argentine, who has retired from international football.
The new City boss laughed before giving an expected answer on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Guardiola said: "He is not a bad player, this guy! But I'm sorry Messi has to stay in Barcelona for the rest of his career."
The Catalan also generated huge cheers from the supporters when he pledged to "kick the a***" of the players already at City as he gets to know them in the weeks ahead.
Asked how much he knew about them already, Guardiola added: "First I have to meet my players, speak with them, hug them, kick their a***!
"I have an idea about them, but I need time. I know them as I have played against City in the last few years many times, I know their quality but they have to show me again.
"What they did in the past is the past. People don't come here to remember what we did, we are here to try again. I am dying to know them.
"I want my players to be a good team-mate. I like players who think about himself but also about Man City.
"The reason we are here is thinking about what can we do to make this club a better club. I want them not to think about what the club can do for them - we are here to help City become a better club."