Manchester City may be convinced of their ability to lure Lionel Messi to the Premier League but the betting suggests that confidence is misplaced.
Recent reports suggest that the Citizens board are convinced that if the Argentine ace decides to leave the Nou Camp this summer his only destination will be the Etihad.
The Sky Blues have already landed Bayern Munich and former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and hope the chance to team up with his former boss will convince Messi to have a crack at the English top flight.
However, the Ladbrokes traders have poured cold water on any move and gone long-odds at 20/1 that Messi departs the Catalan giants to reunite with Pep before September 1 2016.
A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “City may believe they can land Messi if he leaves the Nou Camp but it’s a massive if.
“Signing Guardiola as their new manager may be a huge coup but we fancy even he can’t tempt Leo away from Barca.”
With the traders convinced that Messi is staying put a host of special markets have been released and those who think City can get their man will certainly be tempted to take on the bookmakers.
Odds of 33/1 say Messi will be crowned Premier League top scorer next season, while the same price has been quoted on him scooping the PFA Player of the Year award.
It’s 40/1 that Messi arrives in the summer and steers the Sky Blues to the Premier League title at the first attempt and a huge 50/1 that a Messi-led Etihad outfit go all the way in the Champions League next term.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.