That was revealed by Messi’s father and agent Jorge this week, who had landed in Barcelona for crunch talks with club bosses over the immediate future of his son.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner, 33, has made his desire to leave the Nou Camp abundantly clear since the appointment of Ronald Koeman, but the debate over his contact situation rages on.
Messi believes that he should be free to leave the club as per a clause in his contract that allows him to decide his own future at the end of each season, but Barca chiefs say it expired back in June.
Jorge has now headed to Spain to try and reach an agreement, and he was met with a huge number of people when he arrived.
"I don't know anything, boys," he said as he squeezed through the crowd on Wednesday.
Having said to El Chiringuito previously: "A future at Barcelona? It is difficult. It would be difficult to stay."
And adding on City’s potential interest: "I haven't talked with Pep. There is nothing yet with City."
Messi played under Guardiola between 2008 and 2012, a period in which Barcelona won 14 major honours.
City are one of only a few clubs that might be able to afford the wages of the forward, but their Spanish boss previously stated his desire for Messi to remain at Barcelona.
"He is a player from Barcelona and he will stay there, that's my wish for him to stay there," he said.
"I'm not going to talk about players playing for other clubs. I think he will finish his career there, that's my wish."
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"This is indeed a very important story, but our idea at the club is still to build a new winning cycle around the best player in the world," director Ramon Planes said on the matter last week.
"We are not contemplating any kind of departure because what we want is for Messi to stay.
“We only have enormous respect for Leo Messi.
"Barca and Leo are like a marriage, where both have given so much to each other, and have brought so much joy to the fans. I think the future is positive. I am an optimist.”