Messi and Guardiola will be reunited on Wednesday evening when City go to the Nou Camp in the Champions League with the Argentine plotting to put a big dent in City’s Euro hopes this season.
Guardiola was asked in the build-up to the game if he thinks Messi can be tempted to England at some point in his career and his response will give hope to City fans that the 29-year-old will one day turn out for them.
Guardiola said: “In the case of Leo I really wish him to play here and finish his career here – play here for a long time. But maybe he will think, ‘Okay I want to go play somewhere else’ because maybe he wants his kids to speak English or live a different experience, like happened to many of us.
“Maybe it could happen, but if he decides to go and it happens, there would be a list of seven or eight clubs that would want to sign him, and it would be down to him. Messi will decide where to go.”
City have been linked with Messi in the past and would certainly be among the handful of clubs in the world who would be able to afford him, although a Nou Camp exit for the forward does not look on the cards in the next few years at least.
Brighton boss Chris Hughton hopes the club will have more luck in the transfer market after sealing a second Premier League season.