Manchester City full-back Danilo would welcome the arrival of Lionel Messi at the Etihad Stadium, admitting he would like to play with “the best”.

Rumours of a Messi reunion with City coach Pep Guardiola have returned in recent months as he has been linked with a move away from Barcelona.

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The Catalan side’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has said Messi has already signed a new contract and is already playing under it, but former Real Madrid player Danilo would be happy to see him make the switch to Manchester.

Although he spent time playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu, it is the Argentine who Danilo labels No.1.

“We have a very good squad, but everything can improve,” he told Marca. “Messi is a top player. Of course I would play with him, he is the best.”

Danilo joined City from Madrid in the summer transfer window and has played nine games in all competitions so far for a side sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

After winning the Champions League and La Liga with Zinedine Zidane last season, Danilo is delighted to work with another big name.

“[Zidane and Guardiola] are two great coaches,” Danilo said. “I have had a very good relationship with Zidane during the two years I was in Madrid and now I have a very good one with Guardiola.”

Danilo Manchester City 2017

City are going strong in all competitions so far, with Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero playing starring roles, but it is striker and compatriot Gabriel Jesus who has impressed Danilo.

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“He is Brazilian but I did not know him,” he said. “He surprised me because of his quality and maturity despite being 20 years old.”

Danilo was unable to nail down a regular starting spot in his two seasons with Madrid, but he looked back on his time in the Spanish capital fondly.

He added: “The truth is that I miss Madrid. I spent two incredible years winning important things and people have always treated me very well, but you have to turn a page.”

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