Manchester City are not going to bid for Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to reports.
Sky Sports were told by Spanish football expert Semra Hunter that "the door is closed" on City making a bid for the Barca forward because he is too old and too expensive.
"I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi," Hunter said.
- Beckham's Miami target Chelsea striker Giroud - Paper Round
- Opinion: This could finally be Tottenham's year
Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed. They have their 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."
Will Messi really sign for City? Three key factors in transfer tussle – Euro Papers
She added: "That goes hand-in-hand with finances because even though he would be able to join for free, his wages are astronomically high - he is earning about €100m a year. That would be a huge financial burden for any club to take on, especially given the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic."
In a Eurosport exclusive, Fermin de la Calle of eurosport.es reported on three key factors which the City hierarchy are hoping to exploit in order to pull off one of the greatest transfer coups in the history of football.
City believe they can prise Messi away from Barcelona in the summer with news of Pep Guardiola's new two-year contract a crucial factor.
City executives Ferrán Soriano and Txiki Begiristáin, both formerly of Barcelona, are now putting together a package to tempt the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to move to the Etihad Stadium.
However, De la Calle believes City will still make their move from January 1, when Messi is free to negotiate with whichever team he wants, and says the Argentine and his father are expected to meet City representatives before the Barcelona presidential election on January 21.
Guardiola: I want Messi to finish career at Barcelona