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More to come from Messi and Pep's City is the perfect move

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Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola (left) and Lionel Messi in 2011

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola (left) and Lionel Messi in 2011

PA

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola (left) and Lionel Messi in 2011

There has never been a better opportunity for someone, probably Manchester City, to try and sign Lionel Messi.

A few times over the last few years, leaks have come from Messi's camp, threatening he'd leave Barca, but you never really believed it as that marriage of Messi and Barca had lasted for so long.

You expected them to just get over their issues and stay together, they would sign a player to appease him or give him a new contract.

Now, it seems they have pushed him too far. If it's true that Ronald Koeman told Messi that his privileges were gone, that would have been hard for Messi to take.

They seem to have pushed him to the stage where he will walk.

And City are in pole position to do the deal, they have the obvious link with Pep Guardiola and the tradition of Barca staff at the club.. and they also have the money needed to sign him.

He will break the record for a wage deal in the Premier League if he does go, and wages can often cause a rift at a club, if Messi is on a million a week and others are on much less.

I can understand how in normal circumstances that would be a problem, it does have a negative effect when players know what each other are on... but Messi is an exception, I don't think any player at City would begrudge his wages no matter what he's on.

And he can make an impact as, even at 33, he's not a spent force. This season he has looked, to me, like a player who wanted to leave, he didn't play like he was happy at the club, how his role in the team had changed, how he was carrying the burden of a team in decline.

Put him into a side on the up, that is looking to challenge for titles and dominate games, that can get the best out of Lionel Messi. At 33 he has a lot more to offer and Guardiola, knowing him like he does, can get the best out of him. His age definitely won't be a barrier.