Manchester City chief executive plays down Lionel Messi talks

Written by: Aveek Chakraborty
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Barcelona, June 17: Lionel Messi to Manchester City was doing rounds on the internet ever since his former boss Pep Guardiola took over as the manager at the Manchester Side.

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The rumours again resurfaced recently when it came to existence that the 29-year-old had turned down an offer worth between €30 million and €35m per season in talks over a new deal to extend his stay at the Camp Nou.

File Photo: Lionel Messi (left) in action against Manchester City

The 29-year-old's current deal runs out at the end of next season, and his release clause could jump to £348m if he signs his new deal.

Soriano who is now a Chief Executive Director at Manchester City worked for Barcelona between 2003 and 2008, during which time Messi developed as one of the world's best players.

After coming to City, he previously admitted that if the little Argentine ever decided to leave the Camp Nou, they will push for him.

However, in a recent interview with Chinese outlet Xinhua, the City official denied the prospect of getting the player and recommended the attacker will either finish his career at Barcelona or in the United States or China but definitely not at Manchester City.

"No, I don't think so," Soriano said after asking about the chances of Messi coming at the Etihad.

"I know Messi very well. Our families are really good friends. He's really happy in Barcelona and he has his whole life there.

"I think he will end his career there. If he doesn't, afterwards maybe he could play in the U.S. or China."

Soriano also talked about the current target of his Manchester City side and revealed that their biggest target is to win the Champions League.

"We have to look where the club was and where it is now, among the five best in the world," he said. "If we want to be among the very best, we have to win the Champions League and that's what we're working towards."

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