Man City deny claims of Messi bid

Lionel Messi is not fit to be a leader in part because he prefers PlayStation to conversing with team-mates, according to Diego Maradona.

The World Cup victor was speaking about the Argentina national team and discussed the No.10, suggesting that Messi's pre-match behaviour should rule him out of a leadership role.

Barcelona have reportedly started to plan a new contract for forward Lionel Messi.

The Albiceleste great and former head coach, who at times handed Messi the armband during the 2010 World Cup, is adamant any return should come with the caveat of no captaincy.

Messi played under Pep Guardiola for four years at Barcelona and City have always been suitors of the 31-year-old but the chances of him moving to the Premier League at this stage of his career are slim.

"For me it's hard to talk, but it's pointless wanting to make a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a match into the leader".

Maradona, speaking from the Mexican state of Sinaloa where he coaches local second-tier side Dorados, said Messi's break was sensible.

"There's no two ways about it. Let's stop making a God out of Messi".

"I wouldn't call him up right now, but never say never", he said.

"We asked Guardiola to talk to him", he added.

So far this campaign Messi has scored eleven goals in as many appearances for Barcelona across all competitions, while he has provided five assists.

Vanessa Coleman