LONDON (Reuters) – It rains hard and often and is a far cry from the beaches of Barcelona, yet Argentina striker Sergio Aguero believes world player of the year Lionel Messi would find Manchester to his liking.
Manchester City striker Aguero said he had extolled the virtues of England’s north-west city to his compatriot and Barcelona forward who is the most valuable player in the game.
Messi, 28, has expressed no desire to leave Barca, where he is contracted to until 2019, but Abu-Dhabi owned Manchester City, backed by the billions of Sheikh Mansour, are one of the few clubs who could afford to buy him.
“He already knows there’s no beach!,” Aguero, who has scored 120 goals in 185 appearances during his four-and-a-half years at the Etihad, told Sky Sports.
“We play every three days so we just eat, rest between games — so the weather is not really that important.
“So I told him that Manchester is ideal as a city because you stay at home all day, you play every three days, we can eat, we can meet up, drink Mate (a traditional Argentinian drink) and play football together.”
Real Madrid would also have the resources to sign Messi but Barca would never sell a player of his stature to their arch-rivals.
According to the latest valuations released by Football-Observatory.com. Messi’s transfer value is put at 251 million euros ($271 million), nearly 100 million euros more than the next on their list, Brazil striker Neymar.
Earlier this month Messi won the FIFA Ballon d’Or (world player of year) award for a fifth time.
($1 = 0.9246 euros)
(Reporting by Justin Palmer, editing by Ed Osmond)