BARCELONA -- Sergio Busquets says the Premier League's top sides are unable to offer Lionel Messi everything that he currently has in Barcelona.
Messi, 30, has been a target for a number of English sides throughout the years, with Manchester City the most recent to have tried to tempt him away from La Liga. However, he has always stayed true to Barca, where he has been since he first moved to Europe from Argentina as a 13-year-old.
"Messi's at home here in Barcelona," Busquets said in a news conference when asked what it would take to lure the five-time world player of the year to England.
"Financially he's well looked after, he's winning trophies -- collectively and individually -- living in a great city, surrounded by great players and part of a great project... All of that is positive and it would be difficult to match it anywhere else.
"Like myself, for players that have been brought up at [Barcelona], it's difficult to change. We know the Premier League is a spectacular league, we would like to play there, but if you weigh up all the positives and all the negatives, it's hard to leave Barca."
Man City appear to have given up any hope of signing Messi, anyway. The Argentina international signed a new contract earlier this season until 2021 and Barca CEO Oscar Grau have already said there's a deal for life waiting for him when he wants it.
"There is no possibility of signing him," City's executive director Ferran Soriano told reporters this week. "I know Leo and his family well and I know they are good in Barcelona, which is where he has to be. We will make our way without him, which will be more difficult because he is the best player in the history of football."
Messi missed Barcelona's 2-0 win over Malaga at the weekend following the birth of his third son, Ciro, on Saturday.
However, he returned to training on Monday and will start Wednesday's Champions League round-of-16 second leg against Chelsea at Camp Nou after scoring the equaliser in the first leg, which ended 1-1.
"I think Leo's going to be fine," Busquets added when asked if he anticipated Messi's mind wandering after becoming a father once again.
"Hopefully he's more motivated than ever. Physically he's great and I'm sure he will be relaxed. I hope he plays as he usually plays because he always makes the difference."
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.
Latest Nigeria News
- Dominika Cibulkova knocks Halep out of Wuhan Open
- Pogba can never be Man United captain again —Mourinho
- VIDEO: Nigeria’s D’Tigress thrash Argentina
- Oxford United 0-3 Man City: Mahrez scoring continues
- West Brom 0-3 Crystal Palace: Townsend dazzles
- Inter Milan 2-1 Fiorentina: D'Ambrosio delivers for Nerazzurri
- Tottenham's new stadium to be ready before Christmas - Mauricio Pochettino
- Phil Foden 9/10 as Man City rout Oxford United in Carabao Cup
- Derby County knock out Man United, increase the pressure on Jose Mourinho
- Inter Milan earn lucky win against Fiorentina despite second-half lapse
- Can Harare City's Muyambo become Zimbabwe's next great defensive midfielder?
- Manchester United 2-2 Derby County: Derby through on penalties
- Manchester City teenager Phil Foden can star for club for 10 years - Pep Guardiola
- Real Madrid’s midfielder to miss derby due to appendix surgery
- Sarri will help Hazard reach his potential, insists Zola
- Chelsea are realistic title contenders –Liverpool’s Klopp
- Andy Murray wins first round at Shenzhen Open
- Newcastle boss Benitez charged over ref comments
- Nigeria to move Libya clash to Uyo
- Young Galaxy fan delivers impressive national anthem
- Jose Mourinho tells Paul Pogba he'll never captain Manchester United again - sources
- Messi is the greatest ever despite The Best snub, says Samuel Eto'o
- Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde: Award shows turning football into 'show business'
- FIFA to introduce reforms for transfers, loans once they receive approval
- Hislop: No end to Mourinho-Pogba feud
- Mourinho's marvels past & present
- Transfer Rater: Real eyeing Fekir? Sane to Juventus?
- Serie A Predictor: Roma and Milan to halt slide?
- Run NFF as modern football organisation, Balogun advises Pinnick
- FIFA to reintroduce agent licences
- Manchester United expect higher revenue, core earnings for 2019
- Players have times they don’t score, Klopp defends Salah
- Wozniacki, Kerber off to fast start at Wuhan Open
- Cousin appointed sole Gabon coach after Aubameyang’s father rejects job
- 2018 Maritime Cup starts
- Police athletics trials set to hold
- Modric named world’s best,ends Ronaldo-Messi reign
- Stoke star fathers three children in six weeks
- Joshua reveals illness
- Red Bulls' Robles & Davis showcase FIFA 19 skills