But as part of the same story, the Catalan outlet report that there is a rather unusual clause in Messi's Barcelona deal that allows him to leave on a free transfer in 2020 - as long as it is a non-elite team.
Maradona, who along with Pele is widely held to be one of the best players of all time, said Messi was one player at his club Barcelona and another with the national side.
The report claims that there is a desire to add an extra year to Messi's contract, which would lead to the striker being tied down to the Catalan giants until 2022. "He's Messi when he plays for Barcelona".
City's interest in Messi dates back before Guardiola's time, but the Spaniard tried to use his influence to lure the Argentina superstar to England in 2016.
"It's useless to make a leader of a guy who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a game".
Messi is a great player but he doesn't get it.
That comment was believed to refer to Messi's extreme nerves before games, which have seen him vomit ahead of some important matches.
Despite being Argentina's all-time top scorer with 65 goals, Messi has often been criticised for his performances on the worldwide stage.
A beaten finalist in the 2014 World Cup final with Argentina, Messi's worldwide career has also seen the nation lose three Copa America finals.
Maradona, speaking from the Mexican state of Sinaloa where he coaches local second-tier side Dorados, said Messi's break was sensible.
He said: 'I wouldn't call Messi but never say never.
Argentina beat Iraq 4-0 on Thursday with a new-look side, taking their unbeaten run since Russian Federation to three games.
"There's a need to take the leadership away from Messi, as we want him to be Messi, which he wouldn't be".
A sterner test will take place on Tuesday when they face Brazil in Saudi Arabia - without Messi.