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Sergio Aguero doubts Lionel Messi will leave Barcelona for Manchester City

Lionel Messi will play his 500th game for Barcelona when Luis Enrique's men welcome Real Betis to the Camp Nou.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has conceded the Premier League side are unlikely to sign his close friend and Argentina teammate Lionel Messi from Barcelona.

Messi, 28, have often been linked with a move to City, particularly after the club employed Barcelona's former chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain, while it remains to be seen if Pep Guardiola, who managed Messi at the Camp Nou, will take over at the Etihad Stadium.

City goalkeeper Willy Caballero said last week that bringing his fellow Argentine to the club was "possible," in part because of his good friend Aguero already being at the two-time Premier League champions.

But the striker himself feels that one-club man Messi's love for Barcelona, where he is under contract until 2018, means the four-time World Player of the Year will be reluctant to leave Catalonia.

"It's very difficult for Leo to leave Barcelona, because he's played there since he was very young and it's not easy for him to think about another team," the City forward told Goal.

"So no... hopefully he can be here at City obviously, but of course it's always the player's decision and I think he's very comfortable and very calm in Barcelona."

Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero have represented Argentina together many times and won Olympic Gold in 2008.

Messi is Barcelona's record scorer with 424 goals and has won the Champions League four times during his career with them.

Aguero, who was the Premier League's top scorer last season, said he would welcome Messi to City if he did decide to move and had no worries that his compatriot would succeed in the Premier League.

"If he wants to come here, let him come," he said. "He's the best in the world, he can handle the Chinese league too. Because he's the best in the world there's always pressure in any country. If you're the best player in the world you can be the best anywhere."

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