Manchester City has been warned off a move for Lionel Messi by Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font, with the La Liga giants still confident that they can convince a talismanic presence to stay put.
As things stand, an exit door at Camp Nou still remains ajar.
Messi, who pushed for a move over the summer, is yet to commit to fresh terms in Catalunya.
As his current deal is due to expire in 2021, the mercurial Argentine will be free to discuss pre-contract terms with any of his many suitors from January.
Font, though, believes a six-time Ballon d’Or winner can be kept in his current surroundings, with Ferran Soriano – CEO at the Etihad Stadium – told to turn his attention elsewhere.
“I already told him (Soriano) to forget about Messi, to look for alternatives to win the Champions League, because Messi will continue with us and we will win the Champions League,” Font told L’Esportiu de Catalunya.