Lionel Messi reportedly wants to join Manchester City in order to “win the next two Ballon d'Or awards”.
Messi is desperate to leave Barcelona having grown frustrated at the La Liga giants following Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.
A move to City would see Messi reunite with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
And Spanish football pundit Cristobal Soria revealed that Messi had a heart-to-heart phone chat with Guardiola and spoke about how he wants to add to his six Ballon d’Or trophies.
Soria said: "Last Tuesday, once Messi had decided to leave Barcelona, his first thought was Manchester City and to speak to Guardiola.
"The call happened, and Messi said to Pep: 'I want to win the next two Ballon d'Or awards, and I can only do that with you.'
"This is the killer phrase that Messi used.”
Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate, and ex-Man City star, Yaya Toure believes the Etihad is the only Premier League destination where the Argentine could succeed.
“It is going to be complicated,” Toure said on Messi’s future. “From what I know, Messi loves Barcelona. He loves the city, he loves the club, he loves the philosophy there.
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“But if he had to leave the club, maybe he could come to City. Why? Because City have the money to buy him and there are only a few clubs in the Premier League who can afford him, to be honest.
“If he comes to City he is going to be good for City because the rest of the Premier League is quite intense and hard as well.
“The way Messi plays – I don't think so. Few managers are going to love him because he just sits off to the side and does not want to defend much.
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“In England – depending on who is going to criticise him for that – they want you to work, defend and attack and it is not easy.
“But if he came to England, I could see him playing for City because Guardiola knows him better and he could put him in this City team too to play his football.
“I have a little bit of doubt that he is going to leave Barcelona, to be honest. Barcelona all boils down to Messi. If Messi leaves there is going to be a massive gap.”
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