Pep Guardiola will not make an audacious approach to sign Lionel Messi because he doesn't want to risk upsetting Barcelona fans in case he ever wants to return as manager.
That's the story from the Diario Gol, who also claim that the Spaniard isn't actually on speaking terms with Messi and hasn't been since 2012 when he left the Nou Camp.
Surprisingly, Messi has not yet committed further years to Barcelona, and his current contract is set to expire next summer, leading to speculation that the Citizens could finally put an end to all the paper talk and actually pump their millions into signing the superstar.
But Diario say that Guardiola knows how idolised Messi is at the Catalan club and will not pursue an offer for fear of upsetting the fans - something he wants to avoid in case of a sensational return.
Guardiola has never flat out said or even implied that he wishes to return to manage Barca, and had to move to deny speculation to the contrary when Luis Enrique announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the 2016/17 season.
In the eyes of many, Messi will see out the remainder of his career with Barca and will put pen to paper on a new deal before too much longer.