Manchester City have reportedly closed the chapter of signing Lionel Messi when his contract at Barcelona expires next summer.

Messi has been heavily linked with the Premier League side following his attempt to leave Barcelona in August.

But City who were clearly interested in the 33-year-old couldn’t make the deal happen due to the heavy release clause in the Barcelona star’s contract.

But it didn’t stop the former Premier League champions from keeping the door open for the Argentine star in the next summer transfer window.

And Spanish football expert Semra Hunter believes City have dropped their bid for the Argentine because he might likely finish his career at the La Liga club.

According to Hunter, a source close to the Etihad Stadium has confirmed that City have decided to discontinue racing for Messi’s signature due to two factors – age and finances.

“I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi.

“Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed. They have their reasons for this. They have two reasons for this: age and finances.

“Talking about age, he is heading into the twilight years of his career and you’ll be bringing on board a Messi that is different to what we’ve seen for the last 17 years with Barcelona. Even he himself has said that he is getting closer to the dreaded r-word of retirement more so than anyone cares to admit.

“That goes hand-in-hand with finances because even though he would be able to join for free, his wages are astronomically high – he is earning about 100m euros-a-year. That would be a huge financial burden for any club to take on, especially given the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.

“Economically, everyone has taken a hit and clubs are not immune from this either. We’ve seen in the transfer window over the past summer that clubs are changing their strategies.

Recall that FrujuSports had reported that City manager Pep Guardiola said he wanted Messi to finish his career in Barcelona.

Guardiola who extended his contract to two years, was Messi’s former boss at Barcelona and has been linked as the main reason the six-time Ballon d’Or winner wanted to move to Etihad Stadium next summer.