Pep Guardiola admits Lionel Messi's future is up in the air as Man City plan transfer bid for unsettled Barcelona star

PEP GUARDIOLA says he is in the dark over where Lionel Messi will be playing his football next season.

The Manchester City boss signed a new contract at the Etihad on Thursday and it only added to talk that his former Barcelona favourite, 33, could join him.

SunSport revealed earlier this week the Premier League club are planning another move in January after initially showing interest in the summer.

Messi is into the final year of his contract at the Nou Camp and has looked a frustrated figure during the early weeks of the season.

As a Barcelona fan, Guardiola says he wants Messi to stay with the Catalan club but admits he is not sure if that will happen.

The City boss said: “He’s a player for Barca, and if you ask my opinion, I have a huge gratitude for what Barca has done for me, as a player, manager.

“They gave me everything so what I want is for him to finish his career there.

"I’ve said maybe a thousand times as a Barca fan. That’s what I would like.

“But he’s a year to finish and I don’t know what happens in his mind.

“He’s a Barca player and the transfer market is in July. We have targets to achieve and this is all we have in our minds.

"The rest I cannot say anything else as always.”

Guardiola stopped short of ruling out a bid for the Argentine superstar but wants to focus on the players he currently has.

City are eyeing more titles after convincing their boss to extend his stay  as manager until summer 2023.

His previous deal was due to expire in the summer but he said more silverware is now the target.

Guardiola added: “I’m not thinking much right now but titles would be good. To do what we’ve done in the last few years is difficult.

“But we are thinking week by week do a good job and see at the end what we deserve.”

“All the managers are here to win titles, we’ve done incredibly well – eight titles in three years and that was difficult.

“We spoke a lot with the chief exec, Txiki Begiristaina and Khaldoon, we analyse what we do.

“Now I say a big thank you. I’m so grateful to be able to extend here. The club is the reason why I’m still here.

“They gave me a lot in the four seasons and we want to continue trying to do our best."

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