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26-Aug-2020, 07:58 pm

'Man City is Messi's best option' - Guardiola would build team around exit-bound Barcelona superstar, says Rivaldo

Lionel Messi Barcelona/Man City logo 2019-20

Manchester City are Lionel Messi's "best option" as he seeks a move to a new club, according to Rivaldo, who thinks Pep Guardiola would build his team around the exit-bound Barcelona superstar.

Goal has reported that the Argentine wants to trigger the release clause in his current contract, which expires in 2021, so that he can bring the curtain down on a hugely successful 16-year spell in Catalonia.

The 33-year-old's frustrations over the way the club has been run in recent years boiled over after an embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munch in the Champions League, and he has now decided to see out the remaining years of his career in new surroundings.

Pep Guardiola has already been in touch withMessi to discuss the prospect of a reunion atCity, who are one of very few clubs in Europe to boast enough financial power to match the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's current pay packet.

The two men worked together to great effect at Barca between 2008 and 2012, and Rivaldo believes a generational talent would quickly adapt to the demands of Premier League football at the Etihad Stadium.

"Manchester City could be Messi's best optionas his next club," the former Blaugrana forward told Betfair. "He's 33 but his quality and talent are unquestionable and I think he still has a few more years at the top. He could quickly start shining in England.

"Guardiola hasdeep knowledge of Messi's abilitiesand would find a solution to quickly incorporate him into the team and get the best from him.

"I even imagine Guardiola building the rest of his team around Messi. His talent can make the difference at any place and at any time, and I'm sure he could produce match-winning performances in the Premier League."

Rivaldo did, however, admit that the prospect of Messi leaving Barca for nothing after a historic era at Camp Nou would leave the club in a perilous position amid the financial uncertainty of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The Brazilian added: "At a time when every club faces difficulties due to the pandemic, it would be a big blow for Barcelona to lose their biggest star without receiving any payment.

"That's the biggest obstacle to an immediate exit for Messi because Barca will want to receive at least some money.

"Cristiano Ronaldo'stransfer fee, when he left Madrid for Juventus for €100m, was considered a dubious bit of business in 2018.

"But looking at what's happening with Messi, perhaps it wasn't so bad for Madrid, as they got a good fee at the right time.

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