The Barcelona talisman has been a subject of speculation since tendering his transfer request at the club before the closure of last summer transfer window. The Catalan club turned down the offer, giving clubs that want him a stringent condition – to pay his release clause which is €700 million (£630m/$825m).
If Messi decides not to sign a new contract with the club, he has the right to negotiate with clubs outside Spain starting from January.
After signing a two-year contract extension with City on Thursday, one would have expected Guardiola who experienced success with Messi to make him his number one priority next summer. But the former Bayern Munich manager, who has been linked with his ex-player, advised the 6 times world footballer of the year to end his career at the Catalan club.
It was gathered that Man City would have wanted Messi in their squad with an offer for a future role at the club as well. This is following last season’s attempt to sign the Argentine who came close to moving last summer.
Guardiola said: “Messi is a Barcelona player. I said it a thousand times. As a fan, I want Leo to finish there.”
“His contract finishes this year [season] and I don’t know what will happen in his mind,” Guardiola said.
Messi could decide his future soon as Bartomeu leaves Barcelona and Guardiola stays at City
Messi’ influence is reported to have been huge. He recently said he tired of being seen as the problem at the club after recently returning from international engagement.
Despite the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu, who blocked his transfer, Messi’s future remains uncertain.
This has left every presidential candidates in the club with a promise to ensue that their talisman stays at the club ahead of the election scheduled for January.
Lauding Barcelona for giving him the opportunity to shine, Guardiola who was appointed from the team’s reserve team and he won over ten trophies during his stint with the club before going on a sabbatical.
“I have huge gratitude for Barcelona and what they have done for me,” said Guardiola, who worked with Messi when managing Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.
“In the academy, as a player and a manager, they gave me absolutely everything. Right now Messi is a Barcelona player and the transfer market is in June and July.
“We have incredible games and targets and things we would like to achieve. That is the only thing in our mind. The rest, I cannot say anything.”
This kind of comment from the Spanish tactician showed huge respect for the Catalan club. As he said, what is on his mind is his Premier League engagement, with his next challenge coming up at Tottenham Hotspurs.
With speculation about his future addressed with a new deal that will take him to 2023, all Guardiola will be thinking about is his future at the club. The new deal means he will complete seven seasons at the club, which would be the same number of years spent at Barcelona and Bayern Munich combined, Guardiola has stated his future.
The 49-year-old, who had several offers weren’t interested in moving anywhere else. He would have also stepped away from the game again, as he did when he left Barcelona in 2012, had an agreement with City not been reached.
“I didn’t think about anywhere else, just to stay here. The decision was not just mine, it was the club’s as well. If we had felt it was enough, I would have taken a break.
“But we have the feeling we still have many things to do together. We want to continue what we have done in the previous seasons.”