Lionel Messi and Barcelona are like a married couple and have no reason to go their separate ways, according to Javier Mascherano.
The future of the Argentina forward remains the subject of speculation amid conflicting reports about discussions over a new contract.
First-team technical secretary Robert Fernandez said last month that talks with Messi’s management were progressing “very well”, but chief executive Oscar Grau cast some doubt over whether the club can match the 29-year-old’s wage demands due to a salary cap.
Mascherano, however, finds it highly unlikely that Messi would leave Barca to play for another European side.
“The relationship between Leo and Barca is like a marriage that has had so many joys for a long time, and that is going to have even more,” he told Barca magazine.
“I don’t see the reason for a divorce, because both parties have benefited and can continue to do so. I don’t imagine Leo playing for another team at this level.”
Indeed, Mascherano believes Messi is the only player who could claim to be even bigger than the club itself.
“He is indispensable. Leo is a unique player. We are talking about the best player in history, in this sport and of this club,” he said.
“There have been very important players in the last few years at Barcelona – players who will stay in the history of the club. I think it’s a big error to think that when you leave the club, the club will suffer.
“No, the club is bigger than any player, any other player, except for Leo. That’s the reality and you have to accept it.”
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