Lionel Messi ‘has contacted old Barcelona mentor Pep Guardiola’ to tell him he wants Man City transfer

LIONEL MESSI has contacted his former mentor Pep Guardiola over a transfer to Manchester City, Spanish reports say.

It comes after Messi stunned the Nou Camp hierarchy by handing in a transfer request to leave the club.

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Inter Milan and City were understood to have been monitoring his situation as he grew ever frustrated with the Spanish giants last season.

And according to Radio Catalunya, Etihad boss Guardiola, who spent four seasons with the Argentine, has held talks with player.

Together the pair won two Champions League trophies and three LaLiga titles as Messi was guided into a false No9 role.

The 33-year-old sent a fax to Barca on Tuesday demanding he exercise a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave for free with immediate effect.

But the ex-LaLiga kings believe the clause has in fact expired, with the superstar under contract until the summer of 2021.

Club and player seem set for a legal battle, with Barcelona believing the stipulation expired on June 10 and that a €700m (£629m) buy-out clause is still valid.

That would leave very limited buyers financially capable of facilitating a transfer for Messi.

Chelsea have been linked, but SPORT, say Untied and PSG have officially made a move for the forward

Messi is said to prefer a reunion with former team-mate Neymar, as well as Kylian Mbappe, who won Ligue 1 last season but lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

It is claimed United and Inter have also made contact with Messi's representatives, including his father and agent Jorge Mendes.

Messi and his reps will argue an extension on his clause should be granted as the coronavirus pandemic delayed and extended the season into July and August.

The Barca board will meet immediately with president Josep Maria Bartomeu's resignation believed to be the only thing that could see Messi have a change of heart.

Even if he is able to depart for nothing, his basic wages per week totals at £1.15m, creating a tremendous stumbling bloke for any potential suitor.

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