Lionel Messi, Neymar will not leave Barcelona for Manchester City

Gerard Pique is well-known for his plain, direct talking in front of the media. The Catalan defender did not disappoint in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League clash against European heavyweights Manchester City.

Questioned on his opinion about Pep Guardiola's reported interest in signing Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, Pique explained:

“Pep has been important to the club, but he has another project which is very important for him now, at Manchester City. They’re a club with financial capacity to sign any players in the world, it’s no surprise if they focus on Barcelona. I don’t know personally about it, if it’s true, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried.”

“I hope Neymar here for a long time. He arrived very young, he still has a great deal of potential and is still young. Let’s hope we can enjoy him for many years, but let’s live in the moment, we need to win things this season. Players’ careers can take different roads at different times, but Neymar has a long career ahead of him and we need to enjoy him.”

“I think Lionel Messi is the best in the world, no doubt. He gives us a lot. No matter if he is 10 or 100%. His presence on the pitch means a lot for us and sometimes for the other team."

"Messi looks great at the moment. In three minutes against Deportivo he showed what he can do. The best player in the world, in history even. I’m very fond of him, since we were 13, but I will also say, Argentina sometimes doesn’t win with him. It’s not just him, sometimes it’s impossible to win with just one player, obviously he often makes the difference, but he needs support.”

I must admit I agree with Pique's view on this matter. Any manager in the world would be lying if they said they would not like to add both Messi and Neymar to their squads if their club could afford a hypothetical transfer fee and their wages.

Obviously, seeing either Messi or Neymar leave Barcelona would be terrible for not only the club but also the city of Barcelona. Having said that, both stars have repeatedly shown their love for Barca whenever questioned about their future and, even more importantly, have dismissed any offers of rumours with reassuring quickness.

Your opinions are valued. What do you think about Pique's comments? Do you see Messi or Neymar ever moving away from Barcelona? Tell me about your thoughts in the comments below.