Lionel Messi will either finish his career at Barcelona or in the United States or China — but not at Manchester City — according to the Premier League club’s chief executive Ferran Soriano.
Messi’s Barca contract expires in 2018 and he is currently in talks over a new deal to extend his stay at the Camp Nou.
An agreement is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks despite speculation in Spain that the 29-year-old had turned down an offer worth between €30 million and €35m per season.
Former Barca vice-president Soriano has previously said that he would “open the doors” to Messi at City if he ever decided to leave the Camp Nou, though he now expects an extension to be agreed in Catalonia.
“No, I don’t think so,” Soriano was quoted as saying in Marca after being asked if Messi could still end up at City one day.
“I know Messi very well. Our families are really good friends. He’s really happy in Barcelona and he has his whole life there.
“I think he will end his career there. If he doesn’t, afterwards maybe he could play in the U.S. or China.”
Meanwhile, Soriano has said that City’s biggest target is to win the Champions League.
The club have already brought in Bernardo Silva and Ederson Moraes for a reported £77.7m this summer as they look to challenge in Europe as well as the Premier League next season.
“We have to look where the club was and where it is now, among the five best in the world,” he said. “If we want to be among the very best, we have to win the Champions League and that’s what we’re working towards.”