Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola confirms Harry Kane interest but says Lionel Messi “isn’t thinking about it”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed the club’s interest in Tottenham striker Harry Kane but said Lionel Messi was “not on our minds”.
City want to add Kane, 28, to their England teammate Jack Grealish, who joined thursday in a UK record £ 100million from Aston Villa.
But it is believed they are unwilling to reach Spurs’ £ 160million valuation.
“We are interested in him, but if Spurs do not want to negotiate there is nothing more to say,” Guardiola said.
“If they want, we’ll try, that’s all.
“He’s a player for Tottenham and if they don’t want to negotiate, then it’s over. If they’re open to negotiating, Manchester City and every club in the world want to try to sign him.
“But it depends on Tottenham. Jack had a release clause so it was different.”
England captain Kane – who has scored 221 goals for Spurs and won the Premier League Golden Boot three times – did not show up for training this week as he tries to organize a move away.
City have often been linked with Messi, who Guardiola worked with at Barcelona and once called the greatest player of all time.
Barcelona announced on Thursday that the 34-year-old, their all-time top scorer, leave the club because they can’t afford to keep him under La Liga Financial Fair Play rules.
Hours later, City confirmed the signing of £ 100million from Aston midfielder Villa Grealish, 25, who will wear the number 10 shirt – the number Messi wears at Barca.
“It was a surprise for everyone, including me,” Guardiola said.
“When you have 487 million euros of losses in a year, the decision is made, unfortunately. As a supporter, I would like him to end there but it is not tenable.
“I have incredible gratitude for the most amazing player I have ever seen in my life, for the titles, for what he has done for me, for helping me get to Munich and England.
“Thank you so much for taking Barca to another level, for dominating the world for a decade with his friends, and I wish him the best for the last years of his career.
“We spent on Jack Grealish and he will wear number 10 because we are convinced of him and thought Leo would stay. Now Leo is no longer on our minds.”
Guardiola also announced that Bernardo Silva is one of the many players who want to leave City this summer.
The 26-year-old Portuguese midfielder has scored 35 times in 201 appearances for City since a transfer from Monaco in 2017.
“He’s our player, not just Bernardo, there are two or three, four players who want to leave,” Guardiola said.
“They’re our players and under contract and when they come up with an offer we’re open to discussing it. But that’s up to them. Otherwise, they stay here.”
“Grealish can reach another level with us”
Guardiola has also spoken about the Premier League’s first £ 100million signing of Grealish, who could make his debut in Saturday’s Community Shield game against Leicester City at Wembley.
Grealish has made 213 appearances for Villa, the club he joined at the age of six, scoring 32 goals.
“He can play up front, mainly on the left side but as a winger, attacking midfielder, striker – many positions with his quality,” Guardiola said.
“There is no doubt that he will help the way we play, he wants to become a top international player, better than him.
“He comes up with amazing positive things and is ready to settle into the team. He has the best years of his career. He has made an exceptional contribution to Villa. He has done amazingly there and can achieve another level with us.
“When we were able to spend that it’s a lot, it’s because in the last 13 or 14 months we have sold young players for 60 million pounds and can afford 100 million pounds, otherwise this not possible.
“That’s why for that difference we spent on him. He’s 25 and can play the next six or seven years here and we think we have incredible talent, skills and mindset.”