30 July 2017

Lionel Messi ‘wanted to join Manchester City last summer because he felt ‘trapped’ at Barcelona’

LIONEL MESSI wanted to join Manchester City last summer after feeling ‘trapped’ at Barcelona, according to a revelatory documentary.

The Argentine phoned Pep Guardiola just days after he became Man City’s boss and the latter met up with his former player in Spain.

Last summer it is believed Lionel Messi met up with Pep Guardiola
Getty – Contributor
Lionel Messi reportedly felt ‘trapped’ at Barcelona
AFP or licensors
Pep Guardiola met his former player in Spain
AFP or licensors

According to TV3’s documentary ‘Jocs fiscals’, Messi’s father, Jorge, phoned City’s executive director, Ferran Soriano, to say his son was looking to leave the Nou Camp.

The phone call between Jorge and Man City’s official is believed to have taken place on July 6 and then four days later Messi rang Guardiola for a meeting.

The former Barca and Bayern boss was reportedly out in his homeland for a family celebration but immediately met up with Messi when he heard from the five-time Balon d’Or winner.

Guardiola travelled 28 miles to meet Messi face-to-face in Barcelona.

The reason why Messi was distressed at the Nou Camp was because he had been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud.

The documentary reportedly revealed Messi felt “trapped” with the Catalan giants.

Lionel Messi was sentenced to 21 months in prison over tax fraud in 2016
Getty Images – Getty
Lionel Messi extended his contract at Barcelona this summer
Getty Images – Getty

Messi’s father is believed to have then called Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu to inform him of the ground breaking movements that are believed to have taken place.

But the president is then thought to have responded by saying he would not allow his talisman to leave the Nou Camp.

Bartomeu then met with Messi and retierated his determination to keep hold of him, before Messi eventually decided to stay with the Catalan giants.

This summer Messi signed fresh terms with Barca, keeping him at the club until 2021, and he also agreed to a £221,000 tax fraud fine to keep him out of prison.

Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi enjoyed tremendous succes together at Barcelona
AP:Associated Press

Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog

Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba greet Neymar and Lionel Messi as we go behind the scenes at the Barcelona v Manchester United pre-season friendly
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