Speculation linking Messi with a move away from the Nou Camp grew again this week when the Argentina ace had an argument with Barca football director Eric Abidal.
The 32-year-old superstar took issue with Abidal questioning the commitment and work ethic of the squad under recently-sacked manager Ernesto Valverde.
And with the revelation that he has a clause inserted in his current deal allowing him to leave this summer on a free transfer, the rumour mill soon cranked into action - with City believing that they are in pole position should Messi choose to leave.
Guardiola won a cluster of trophies with Messi in his Barcelona team, and the player is also good friends with City star Sergio Aguero, football director Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano.
City's hierarchy have always believed that Messi would stay at the Nou Camp for the rest of his career but that they would be at the front of the queue if he ever did decide to leave.
Guardiola reinforced that belief pouring cold water on the notion, although he did not rule out a move.
“He is a player for Barcelona and he will stay there," he said at his press conference on Friday.
"That is my wish. I’m not going to talk about players from other clubs. I think he will finish his career there.”