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The Premier League side became the favourites to land the 33-year-old attacker after he made it clear that he wanted to leave Camp Nou in a free transfer.
Although De Bruyne understands why City wanted to reunite Messi with coach Pep Guardiola, he insists the squad is already good enough and is not wasting time wondering what might have been.
"But I am never looking at what players may come and what may happen, you know.
"You play with the players you have and I think we have a pretty good team in that respect. It would be stupid of me to assume what would happen if a certain player came. It happens in football all the time. People are supposed to come and eventually they don’t."
City would have had to pay Messi astronomical wages to convince him to make the move to England, but De Bruyne reckons they would have made that money back in no time.
"If you can get Messi to your team you are always going to do it. I can see it from a playing perspective and especially as a club," he added.
"Business wise, the amount of sponsors and money it would have attracted would have been huge.
"Even if you would have paid him a load of money, in a certain way you would get it all back. So I could understand the decisionin that respect."
De Bruyne has spent four years working with coach Guardiola and has become accustomed to the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss' unique playing philosophy.
However, he admitted that he occasionally wants to try a different style.
"The way he looks at football is different to how many people look at football. He has his philosophy and he stays with it and doesn’t change," he said.
"There is Plan A and there is Plan A. There is no Plan B. For a lot of people that’s difficult to understand.
"Wanting a changecan happen in your mind but afterwards you know that Plan A mostly works for us.
"I think everybody is really confident in the plan though you are always going to say in any moment of time in a game that you want this or this. Or we should do that.
"But that happens in every club. It’s good to have these discussions because you just need to win the game and sometimes the coach can say whatever he wants.