Although the spat with Abidal has provoked reports in England, Italy, France and even Argentina that Messi could move to one of these countries, there has been scarcely any mention in Spain's top publications that a summer departure is on the cards.
"Messi is not Cristiano Ronaldo".
Messi's future at the Nou Camp looks uncertain following a row with sporting director Eric Abidal, and he could be available on a free transfer this summer as part of a clause in his contract. "Physically, he's not the same machine", the 1998 World Cup victor stated.
"I don't think he's suited to the intensity of England", Petit told the Mirror.
"He doesn't like being closed down and being fought".
A scathing response from Messi bypassed official club channels as he took Abidal to task on Instagram, and that raised the question of whether the record-breaking forward remains happy at Barcelona. "I don't know if Messi wants to leave or he just wants to protect his players - [and is thinking, ] 'As a captain, I need to protect my team'". It would be a pleasure for English fans to see him but I don't see why a club like Manchester City, for example, would move for Messi at 32 or 33.
"Lastly, I think that when you talk about players, you should give names because otherwise you are tainting everyone's name and feeding rumours that spread and are not true".
Guardiola, who enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with Messi while manager of Barca, said that he hopes the Argentine sees out his career with the Catalan club.