Premier League club Manchester City have ended their pursuit of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, according to Spanish football expert Semra Hunter.
City were understood to be the frontrunners to sign Messi last summer as he demanded to leave Barcelona during a bitter contract dispute.
Messi is out of contract at the end of the season, making him free to negotiate with other clubs from January and appearing Aldito make a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola all the more likely.
However, City are no longer keen to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, says Hunter, with his age and €100m-a-year wages (£89m) thought to be a deal breaker for City.
“I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi,”
Hunter told Sky Sports News. “Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed.
“They have their reasons for this. They have two reasons for this: age and finances.
Talking about age, he is heading into the twilight years of his career and you’ll be bringing on board a Messi that is different to what we’ve seen for the last 17 years with Barcelona. Even he himself has said that he is getting closer to the dreaded r-word of retirement more so than anyone cares to admit.