Former Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has admitted he would be excited to see Lionel Messi move to the club.

The Barça icon was heavily linked with a move to the Etihad all summer, with him pushing for an exit after a fall out with former president Josep Bartomeu.

The Argentine claimed that a clause in his contract allowed him to leave on a free, although Barcelona argued against this and ultimately ended up keeping him at the Camp Nou for another year.

Were he to have left it was believed Manchester City were waiting in the wings, ready to set up a reunion with Pep Guardiola at the club.

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That never happened but the rumours have not gone away, with it claimed regularly since that City could offer Messi a contract in January, given his deal at Barcelona expires next summer.

Whether that happens remains to be seen, but it is a tantalising prospect and one Zabaleta, who played alongside Messi for Argentina, would be excited to see happen.

“I know that Messi must not be enjoying this situation right now,” he told A Diario, relayed by Marca.

“He must only be thinking about what is best for the future and that the institution returns to normal to win titles.

“I don’t know the plans for City and Messi’s proposal. The best thing for him is to focus on the current situation.  

“If he has to change clubs, I would be very happy if Manchester City were chosen.”