Manchester City have reportedly ended their interest in Lionel Messi over various reasons.

City were understood to be the frontrunners to sign the Argentine in the previous transfer window as he demanded to leave Barcelona following a contract dispute.

After the 33-year old agreed to stay for this season and see off his deal at Nou Camp, the EPL giants were tipped to snap him up for free next year.

But latest claims have suggested that Man City are no longer keen to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

According to Spanish football expert Semra Hunter who was speaking on Sky Sports News, Messi’s age and €100m-a-year wages (£89m) discouraged the club from pursuing the transfer.

“I have it on good authority from someone close to the situation that Manchester City are not going to bid for Lionel Messi,” Hunter said. “Based on the information I have, as of today, that door is closed.

“They have their reasons for this. They have two reasons for this: age and finances. Talking about age, he is heading into the twilight years of his career, and you’ll be bringing on board a Messi that is different to what we’ve seen for the last 17 years with Barcelona.

“Even he himself has said that he is getting closer to the dreaded r-word of retirement more so than anyone cares to admit.

“That goes hand-in-hand with finances because even though he would be able to join for free, his wages are astronomically high – he is earning about 100m euros-a-year. That would be a huge financial burden for any club to take on, especially given the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.”