Manchester City could be forgiven for secretly wanting Lionel Messi to miss their Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi, linked with a move to City over the last two years, moved to PSG on a free transfer over the summer after being blocked from extending his contract at Barcelona.

Given City's links to Messi and also the Argentine's history with Pep Guardiola, it felt inevitable that they would get drawn against PSG in the Champions League this season, and they are both paired together in Group A. City travel to Paris this week for the first meeting between the pair after the Blues recorded two wins in the semi-finals last year.

Over the summer, PSG have strengthened considerably, with Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarruma all arriving on free transfers.

However, Messi is an injury doubt for the clash after missing the Ligue 1 win over Montpellier this weekend, and faces a race against time to be fit to face City.

Despite the prospect of Messi being absent and potentially giving the visitors an advantage, Ruben Dias says City would prefer Messi to play on Tuesday.

Dias said: “Messi is a phenomenal player and as a professional, you want to play against all those sorts of names.

“But whether it’s Messi, [Kylian] Mbappe, Neymar or [Mauro] Icardi, PSG have amazing strength in depth and no matter who it is we face, it’ll be a tough test. Everyone is looking forward to this game for exactly that reason.

“They (PSG) have obviously strengthened a lot all over the pitch. The signings they have made this season have been fantastic and it will be a different challenge to the team we faced last year.

“But they have also been one of the strongest teams in Europe for a number of years now.

“The likes of Ramos and Messi will add to their winning mentality, but when we played last season, they already had Neymar, Mbappe and [Angel] Di Maria.”