Guardiola: "My desire is that Lionel Messi retires at Barcelona"

"What I want is for him to finish his career there, I would love it"

Messi adelantó al Barça de penalti | MEDIAPRO

Pep Guardiola says he hopes Lionel Messi stays at Barcelona despite continued reports linking him with a move to Manchester City. 

Guardiola signed a contract extension with City on Thursday but insists he would prefer to see Messi stay with Barca rather than join him in Manchester. 

"Lionel Messi is a player from Barcelona," Guardiola said in a press conference on Friday. "If you ask me my opinion as a person, I have huge gratitude for what Barcelona has done for me. In the academy as a football player and after as a manager it gave me absolutely everything.

"What I want is for him to finish his career there. I would love it, I would wish it. That is what I said I don't know how many times maybe a thousand times." 

However, with Messi out of contract in June and available for free, Guardiola admits he doesn't know what the future hold for the Argentina forward. 

"I would like as a Barcelona fan for Leo to finish there," Guardiola added. "But he finishes this year the contract and I don't know what's going to happen in his mind. Right now he is a Barcelona player and the transfer market will be in June and July."

Messi wanted to leave Barça at the end of last season but the club stood strong and didn't let him leave. Earlier this week he said he is "tired" of being the root of every problem at the Catalan club. 



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