Guardiola hopes Messi stays at Barcelona

By Sports Desk July 07, 2020

Pep Guardiola has reiterated he wants to see Lionel Messi stay at Barcelona.

Barca talisman Messi is out of contract in 2021 and there is fresh speculation the six-time Ballon d’Or winner may wish to leave the club, who have not won the Champions League since 2015.

The forward has often been linked with a move to Manchester City to play under his former Camp Nou coach Guardiola.

But the City boss was reluctant to discuss transfers ahead of Wednesday's Premier League home match against Newcastle United.

He also stressed his stance on Messi has not changed, having previously expressed his hope the Argentine remains with Barca when questioned on the topic.

"I'm not going to speak about transfers until the end of the season," he said. "My wish is that Messi is going to stay in Barcelona."

Asked if a new centre-back was in his plans, he added: "At the end of the season. We still have incredible targets to fight for."

Meanwhile, Guardiola insisted he had no influence on where City's Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid will be played, with a decision due this week.

City lead the tie 2-1 after a win at Santiago Bernabeu before the coronavirus lockdown and reports suggested Guardiola had lobbied UEFA over playing the return leg in Manchester rather than at a neutral venue.

"I am not strong enough to have this impact," he said.

"I am not a president. They have protocols. I have never spoken with UEFA. I have said many times that we want to play in Manchester but we are going to accept wherever UEFA decide to play.

"What I want is to play against Madrid. This is what I want but I didn't make phone calls, I don't have this power."

The club are also getting closer to finding out the verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as they appeal against their two-year Champions League ban.

"On July 10 it is the [Champions League quarter-final] draw and [July] 13 will be the sentence," Guardiola added.

"After that, I will give my opinion. We wait for the resolution from UEFA. This season is not going to change. It is so beautiful what we have in front of us."

Related items

  • Leverkusen boss Bosz jokes about Havertz transfer amid Chelsea links Leverkusen boss Bosz jokes about Havertz transfer amid Chelsea links

    Bayer Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz joked that Chelsea target Kai Havertz will join Heracles Almelo after the German side lost in the Europa League quarter-finals.

    Leverkusen's Europa League campaign came to an end on Monday, beaten 2-1 by Serie A side Inter in Dusseldorf.

    Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku had given Inter a commanding lead inside 21 minutes, before Havertz reduced the deficit three minutes later.

    Havertz has been tipped to leave Leverkusen for Premier League giants Chelsea once the 2019-20 season has concluded, and Bosz was asked whether the Germany international had played his final match for the club.

    "Yes, I can exclusively announce he'll play for [Dutch outfit] Heracles Almelo," Bosz, who previously coached Heracles in two separated spells, said during his post-match news conference.

    Reflecting on the match, Bosz added: "We lost against a great opponent. We didn't play well in the first 20 minutes and had problems dealing with Lukaku, then things improved and we thought that we'd turn it around. We could've done better and are disappointed.

    "Marcelo Brozovic was allowed far too much freedom in the middle of the park and we had to make changes after those initial 20 minutes. As for Lukaku, he's just too strong in one-on-one situations.

    "We moved [Moussa] Diaby to the left, because they were pressing our wide men, and Diego Godin doesn't like coming out from the back, so we had more space then to build."

  • Solskjaer dismisses Sancho talk after Man Utd reach Europa League semis Solskjaer dismisses Sancho talk after Man Utd reach Europa League semis

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to talk about rumoured transfer target Jadon Sancho after the Red Devils advanced to the Europa League semi-finals.

    United booked their spot in the final four of Europe's secondary club competition after edging Danish opponents Copenhagen 1-0 in extra time on Monday.

    Bruno Fernandes' 95th-minute penalty secured a semi-final showdown with either Premier League rivals Wolves or LaLiga outfit Sevilla.

    But attention turned to Borussia Dortmund star Sancho post-match amid ongoing speculation over the England international's future.

    Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc, earlier on Monday, insisted Sancho will stay at the Bundesliga club, despite United's interested.

    Asked about Sancho, Solskjaer replied: "I can't comment on other team's players, I can't do that. You know that. I never do."

    On the match itself in Cologne, Solskjaer said: "I am delighted that we're through. I think we deserved to win tonight. It could have been one of those nights that you ended up with a penalty shootout. They made it hard for us.

    "It's a good team we played against, well organised. They had a gameplan – we knew they were going to be hard to break down. We knew we would get chances."

    Juan Mata was influential as a substitute at the start of extra time, his composure and passing helping United earn the decisive penalty.

    Mata has struggled for game time this season but Solskjaer heaped praise on the 32-year-old Spaniard.

    "I think you saw when he came on he's so composed, calm," Solskjaer said. "He's clever, he's got quick feet in small right areas.

    "He can pick a pass, he can calm us down at times and he's such a great influence in and around the place as well, with the culture and the dressing room. I just commend him for his professionalism.

    "Of course, he's disappointed he's not played more but he's one of the top assist-makers in the Europa League and he's really done well for us."

  • Leeds United bring in Wigan Athletic youngster Gelhardt Leeds United bring in Wigan Athletic youngster Gelhardt

    Joe Gelhardt has signed for Leeds United from Wigan Athletic, the Premier League club have confirmed.

    Striker Gelhardt has signed a four-year deal with Leeds, after joining for an undisclosed fee.

    Having made his Wigan debut in 2018, Gelhardt made 19 appearances in all competitions for the Latics last season, scoring one goal.

    Gelhardt becomes Leeds' fourth signing of the transfer window, after Jack Harrison rejoined on loan from Manchester City and Helder Costa and Illan Meslier made their stays permanent.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.