Lionel Messi informed his former coach, Pep Guardiola, by telephone of his intention to leave FC Barcelona before making it public, according to The Times.
Guardiola, who is the current coach of Manchester City, reportedly told the 33-year-old Argentine star that he would contact Manchester City’s bosses so that he could join the team.
The “Goal” and “Spox” websites also reported that Messi had had a telephone conversation with his former coach.
According to The Times, City’s executive director, Ferran Soriano, a former vice president of FC Barcelona, is already in Catalonia to meet Jorge Messi, the footballer’s father, next week.
Messi played for Barcelona under Guardiola from 2008 to 2012, a period crowned by multiple titles: La Liga (2009, 2010, 2011), Copa del Rey (2009, 2012) and UEFA Champion’s League (2009, 2011).
According to the Argentine daily, La Nación, Messi could receive a 3+2 contract, staying for three seasons at City, until the age of 36, then playing in the MLS in the U.S.A for the next two years with New York City FC which, like Manchester City, is part of the City Football Group.
The arrival of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner at Manchester City could lead the 49-year-old Guardiola to prolong his stay at the Etihad Stadium, where his contract ends in June 2021.
Guardiola went to coach City in July 2016 after his three-year stint at Bayern Munich (2013-2016) and the sabbatical year that followed his departure from Barcelona in 2012.