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Barcelona’s Lionel Messi Will Remain One-Club Man, Says Former Team-Mate

Lionel Messi, forward and captain of Spanish football club Barcelona, will end his career at the Catalan club, believes his former team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

“I speak with Messi and his idea has always been to end his career at Barcelona… Many things can happen at a club but I am fully confident that his career will end at Barca,” Fabregas was

quoted as saying by Spanish outlet Cadena Cope.

Messi, 32, the Argentine professional footballer who has been at the club since the age of 13, has been linked with potential transfers to Inter Milan and Manchester City in recent weeks.

​Fabregas, who was team-mates with Messi for three years from 2011-2014, insists the Argentine striker will not leave the Camp Nou.

While speculation linking Messi, winner of a record six Ballon d'Or awards and six European Golden Shoes, with possible transfers is rife, former Barcelona vice-president Emili Rousaud was recently quoted by ESPN Deportes as believing Messi will sign a new contract once his current deal expires next summer.

“'I think Messi and Barcelona will reach an agreement over a renewal.To reach an agreement, the two parties must make some kind of concession, but I would be very surprised if this beautiful story did not continue for longer,” said Rousaud.

Rumors about Messi’s possible transfer have been spreading against the backdrop of disagreements in the Barcelona boardroom.

Barca confirmed in late March that an agreement had been reached for temporary wage-cuts for players as the club struggles financially over the coronavirus crisis.

​As negotiations between the club’s board of directors and the players began, sources were quoted by ESPN as saying the first proposal made by the club was rejected by players.

Subsequently, the club announced it would lean on Spanish labour legislation ERTE to reduce wages of all of the club's employees, yet the wage hit taken by first-team players, earning more than €500 million annually between them, would result in non-sporting staff earning a full wage.

© AP Photo / Francisco Seco, File
In this Sunday, May 22, 2016 file photo, Barcelona's Lionel Messi kisses his wife Antonella Roccuzzo as they celebrate after winning the final of the Copa del Rey soccer match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid

FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu applauded the commitment of players to help the club during the coronavirus crisis, insisting team captains were on board with the wage cuts from the start, reported ESPN.

Facing uncertainty about prize and television money this season, with football suspended across Europe, Barcelona has been losing revenue from match-days and the club museum.

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