Messi was never going to leave Barca - Guardiola denies reports of sensational City bid

Pep Guardiola has denied reports Manchester City offered Lionel Messi a EUR100million bonus to sign with the Premier League club, insisting the Argentina superstar was never going to leave Barcelona.

Messi finally made his new contract at Camp Nou official last month, signing a deal that contains a EUR700m buyout clause.

That contract, which will keep him in Catalonia until June 2021, had been agreed in July.

But the lack of confirmation on that agreement had led to talk that Messi could sensationally leave Barca, with the 30-year-old reportedly the subject of an audacious bid from City.

However, speaking ahead of City's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, Guardiola, who oversaw the bulk of Messi's rise to becoming arguably the greatest player of all time, rejected talk that a transfer was ever on the cards.

Asked about the speculation of City's offer to Messi, Guardiola said: "That's not true.

"Lionel Messi signed a new contract a week ago.

"It was never going to happen. He wants to finish his career with Barcelona.

"If he wanted to leave then he wouldn't have signed that new contract."

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