MANCHESTER CITY will find it “difficult” to dominate world football now they have given up on signing Lionel Messi.
That is according to Manchester City’s executive director Ferran Soriano, who has denied the club are keen to sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
City are one of the few clubs believed to be able to afford Messi’s £625million release clause.
Pep Guardiola’s position as City manager was thought to be a major advantage to the club, were they ever to move for the Argentine forward.
Soriano himself used to work for Barcelona and it was hoped that link would only strengthen their hands in a bid.
But the Premier League leaders will not be going in for Messi any time soon.
"There is no possibility of signing him,” Soriano said during an interview in Argentina.
“I know Leo and his family well and I know they are good in Barcelona, which is where he has to be.
“We will make our way without him, which will be more difficult because he is the best player in the history of football.”
Lionel Messi only recently signed a new contract at Barcelona that saw his wages skyrocket to €2m a week.
City are known to stump up big money for players but even they may struggle to match Messi’s demands, his transfer fee and pass FFP regulations.
City have spent over £300m since Guardiola arrived in the summer of 2016.
When the ex-Barca boss was appointed at the Etihad there was immediate excitement that Messi could follow.
But the Argentina international has always pledged his commitment to Barca so long as he is at the peak of his powers.
City are on course to win the league but the Champions League remains elusive to their UAE owners.
City have progressed to the quarter-finals of this season’s elite European competition and will hope to finally get their hands on the trophy this year.
Lionel Messi played under Pep Guardiola when the boss was in charge of Barcelona
Guardiola won his first title as City boss earlier this month when his side beat Arsenal 3-0 in the EFL Cup final.
The manager was criticised for not winning silverware last term but Soriano explained the ethos behind Guardiola’s appointment.
"Patience is essential and one way to understand it is to see that the teams that have won consistently are not the ones that change a coach every two months or every year,” he said.
“The key is long-term planning, strength to make the decisions that we think are correct even though the fans ask for something else.”
Barca themselves are still in the mix for Champions League honours.
They host Chelsea on Wednesday night with the tie finely poised at 1-1 from the first leg.