Lionel Messi is going to City… and he will be accompanied by Carlos Tevez and Angel Di Maria!

Lionel Messi is going to City… and he will be accompanied by Carlos Tevez and Angel Di Maria!


Unfortunately for Blues fans, it will be for just a few days, as the Argentina squad will set up camp at the club’s training facilities ahead of their Old Trafford friendly against Portugal next week.

Messi and Co will train for two days at City’s fabulous new Etihad Campus facility, and another two days at the old Carrington base, after arriving in Manchester this weekend.

But any City fans who might hope that Messi will be suitably impressed by the state-of-the-art training ground to agitate for a move to the club next summer, might be in for a disappointment.

There has been speculation that Messi has become disaffected with Barcelona’s backwards steps since Pep Guardiola left, and that his prosecution for alleged tax evasion may persuade him to seek pastures new.

But Argentina boss Gerardo Martino, who was Messi’s coach at the Nou Camp until his resignation at the end of last season, cannot see him leaving.

“Leo has got the qualities required, but it is difficult to find a player so close to Barcelona,” said Martino.

City have undoubtedly been keeping an eye on Messi’s situation, and have strong links to the player through former Barca executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain and the player’s pal, Sergio Aguero.

But any suggestion of a move for him is, at the moment, pie in the sky.

City’s elite development squad might also take plenty of interest in the arrival of the Argentina squad which includes club-mates Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Willy Caballero and Martin Demichelis, plus United star Di Maria.

The Albiceleste spent the early part of this week based in east London, training at West Ham’s Rush Green complex before they took on Croatia in a friendly at Upton Park.

And West Ham’s Under-21 team were even invited to join one training session, so the City youngsters will be keeping their fingers crossed.


Meanwhile, Messi’s international team-mate and Blues hotshot Aguero has revealed the secret behind his determination to stay on his feet under defenders’ challenges, which paid off when he scored the title-winning goal against QPR in 2012.

He was booked for an alleged dive against CSKA Moscow last week, but is adamant that he was caught by the defender.

He claims he does not dive, and that is because of his early days playing with local kids on the football pitch immediately outside his family home in Florencio Varela.

“There was no point in diving because there was no referee,” said Aguero. “Your opponent would just say it wasn’t a foul, and that was it.

“So it was useless to fall. I tried to avoid falling and that was my style until I turned 14 or 15. And there were stones everywhere!”