Pep Guardiola has denied that Manchester Metropolis provided Lionel Messi a reported £88 million signing bonus in an effort to entice him to affix from Barcelona on a free switch in the summertime.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported that Metropolis proprietor Sheikh Mansour had personally made the provide, which additionally contained a £44m-a-year wage, and bypassed intermediaries.
Messi was out of contract in the summertime however has now signed a brand new Barcelona deal, as Guardiola had predicted he would.
And the Metropolis boss confused his membership had not made the reported large summer time provide to the Argentina captain.
“No, it is not true,” Guardiola instructed a information convention forward of Manchester Metropolis’s Champions League conflict with Shakhtar Donetsk.
“Lionel Messi signed a contract per week in the past, it was by no means going to occur. Lionel Messi began his profession at Barcelona and he’s going to complete it there.
“If he wished to depart, he wouldn’t have signed a brand new contract.”
Metropolis have taken a powerful squad to Ukraine regardless of already having secured prime spot of their group by successful all 5 of their opening matches.
Kevin De Bruyne is suspended and teenager Phil Foden included, with Guardiola saying: “He has the identical likelihood to play.
“We’re so proud that he’s right here with us and, if he performs, hopefully he’ll do OK.”
Midfielder Yaya Toure might additionally begin, with Guardiola more likely to make plenty of modifications from the facet that beat West Ham on Sunday to increase their club-record successful streak to 20 video games.
Toure believes Metropolis are taking part in a few of the greatest soccer in Europe and are able to tackle the highest sides within the Champions League.
“We need to play towards the most effective groups to see the place we’re,” he mentioned.
“I believe groups respect us. We’re in an excellent second. We’re stuffed with confidence. The way in which we management video games is implausible.
“Shakhtar have a wonderful crew, a terrific squad, a terrific coach. For us, it’s a large problem to play towards them.”
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester Metropolis correspondent. Comply with him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.