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Manchester City 'end Lionel Messi pursuit'

:Headline: Manchester City 'end Lionel Messi pursuit':
Manchester City are supposedly out of the running to sign Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who is set to become a free agent next summer.
Sports Mole

Manchester City will make no attempt to prise Lionel Messi away from Barcelona, according to Spanish football expert Semra Hunter.

Having been at war with the powers-that-be at Camp Nou for the past few months, Messi continues to be linked with a move away from Camp Nou after initially submitting a transfer request in the summer.

City have been regarded as the favourites to land Messi ever since, but Hunter has claimed that Pep Guardiola's side have accepted that they cannot fund a move for the soon-to-be free agent amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Hunter said: "I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi. Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed.

"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.

"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 (£89.2m) 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. Either you have to offload some of the highest earners or you have to sell off players or make other tweaks in other parts of the club depending on whatever formula a club would want to use to bring Messi on board.

"Perhaps, clubs would rather invest that money into bringing younger players in or bringing in reinforcements in positions where they actually need those reinforcements."

City manager Guardiola recently admitted that he would like to see Messi hang up his boots at Barcelona, where he boasts six goals and four assists across all competitions this season. body check tags ::

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd19124336251140
2Manchester CityMan City18115231131838
3Leicester CityLeicester19122535211438
4Liverpool1997337221534
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1896333171633
6Everton1710252821732
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham199552722532
8Aston Villa1792631181329
9Chelsea1985633231029
10Southampton188552621529
11Arsenal198382319427
12Leeds UnitedLeeds187293034-423
13Crystal Palace196582233-1123
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves196492129-822
15Burnley185491022-1219
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle1954101832-1419
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton193882229-717
18Fulham1826101527-1212
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1925121543-2811
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd1912161032-225
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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich25165435211453
2Swansea CitySwansea24137429131646
3Brentford23128337211644
4Reading2513573728944
5Watford24127529181143
6Bournemouth25119538211742
7Middlesbrough24116730201039
8Stoke CityStoke2691073128337
9Blackburn RoversBlackburn25106940281236
10Bristol City24113102526-136
11Preston North EndPreston26113123133-236
12Barnsley25104112732-534
13Luton TownLuton2596102127-633
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2594122835-731
15Cardiff CityCardiff2485113028229
16Millwall2461172124-329
17Queens Park RangersQPR2569102331-827
18Coventry CityCoventry2468102234-1226
19Birmingham CityBirmingham2568111830-1226
20Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2567122029-925
21Derby CountyDerby2567121625-925
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham2255122332-920
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2367101523-819
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe2336141635-1915
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