Pep Guardiola speaks of his “huge gratitude for Barcelona” when asked about Messi

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Article image: Pep Guardiola speaks of his “huge gratitude for Barcelona” when asked about Messi

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has spoken of his “huge gratitude” Barcelona when asked about the future of the club’s star player Lionel Messi.

The Premier League club confirmed in a statement on Thursday that the Catalan had penned a new two-year contract with them, ensuring that he would be at the helm of City beyond the current campaign.

As a coach, Guardiola built one of the greatest teams of all time at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012, winning three consecutive La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, three Spanish Super Cups, two Champions Leagues, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

Guardiola then spent a year in New York on sabbatical before a three-season stint in Germany with Bayern Munich. He joined Manchester City in 2016 and has won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, three League Cups and two Community Shields at the Etihad Stadium.

Somewhat inevitably, he has been asked again about the Barcelona news over Messi’s summer demands to leave the club in the close-season and his future at the club beyond this current campaign is now unclear.

“I have huge gratitude for Barcelona and what they have done for me,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday, as cited by BBC Sport.

“In the academy, as a player and a manager, they gave me absolutely everything. Right now Messi is a Barcelona player and the transfer market is in June and July.

“We have incredible games and targets and things we would like to achieve. That is the only thing in our mind. The rest, I cannot say anything.”

It comes after the Messi news that he confirmed he was staying at the Camp Nou for this season, although he clarified that he was less than happy to be doing so, after threatening to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.

The resignation of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has left a power void on how to deal with contract extensions as interim president Carlos Tusquets is unlikely to negotiate such a significant move in his short-term stay, so the club’s position on his renewal is now lacking clarity.

Image via fcbarcelona.com