Manchester City have inched closer to signing Lionel Messi afer tying Pep Guardiola to a new deal.

The Catalan ended months of speculation after penning down a new 2-year deal on Thursday. The deal will see him at the Etihad dugout until, at least, 2023.

This means that Guardiola, who has won six major trophies (plus two Community Shields) will spend seven years at Man City, the same amount of time he spent at Barcelona and Bayern Munich combined.

However, the biggest part of this deal, and especially for Man City fans, is that the club can now work on signing Messi, arguably the world’s greatest footballer.

Messi, who will be free to leave the Spanish giants next summer, unsuccesfully tried to activate a disputed release clause last season.

The Argentine has not given up his dream of leaving the club and was quoted by Spanish media on Wednesday, saying that he is tired of being linked with everything wrong at the club.

“The truth is that I’m a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club,” Messi said after he was accused of making life difficult for French Foward Antoine Griezmann.

Messi and Guardiola have won 14 major titles together, including two Champions League trophies.

Guardiola has unsuccesfully tried to win the European title since leaving Camp Nou in 2011 while Messi has only won it once in 2015.

There was a fear that Guardiola would be tempted to return back to Barcelona next season after the end of his reign at Man City. But with the new deal, there is a believe that the two can combine to win the title again at the Etihad in the next two years.

The Champions League remains the only and most important title that Man City have not won.