But if it is to be the Premier League and Messi wants to prove it was Barca and not him who has been the fading force this season there seems only one possible destination in the Premier League.
And it is alongside Guardiola in his Spanish home from home in the north west.
There would be complications.
If City step in, what would it do for Phil Foden’s progress – perhaps the most exciting young English talent playing in the top flight right now?
Would Messi be happy sitting on the bench and rotating? What would it do for City’s wage structure? What might it do for the growing leadership of Kevin de Bruyne?
Also Messi, 33, does not fit with any of the previous signings in Guardiola’s time at City, the 20 to 25 year olds still on the way up.
Perhaps the City boss reasons another Champions League failure requires a rethink on such policy.
Clearly this is a decision that lies not solely with Guardiola but with Messi yet it could be one to define the former’s legacy at the club so he has to get it right.
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