Messi and Barcelona need each other - Mascherano

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The Argentine defender hopes his fellow countryman will remain at Camp Nou "forever" as speculation regarding a new contract rumbles on

Javier Mascherano believes Barcelona and Lionel Messi “need each other” and hopes to see his fellow Argentine remain at Camp Nou “forever”.

Speculation regarding the 29-year-old’s future in Catalunya has resurfaced amid uncertainty surrounding a contract renewal.

Barca confirm talks with Messi

Messi’s current deal is due to expire in 2018 and no fresh terms have been agreed as yet.

The reigning Spanish champions have seen Neymar and Luis Suarez commit to new contracts, but no extension has been put in place with the club’s talisman.

Barca remain optimistic that a deal will be done, despite issues regarding a lack of room for manoeuvre within La Liga salary caps.

Messi’s team-mates have also been speaking out on the matter, with Mascherano the latest to express a desire for a positive conclusion to be reached in a drawn out process.

He told Spanish news outlet Sport: "I have no doubt that both Messi and the club need each other. The relationship between both parties has been really good up until now.

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"I hope that, in terms of elite football, Messi plays here forever. There’s no better place for him, although it’s a matter which must be dealt with in private by Barcelona." 

Messi may have missed out on the biggest individual accolades of 2016 to Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is still enjoying a fine campaign at Camp Nou.

He was among the goals again on Saturday as Barca blitzed Las Palmas 5-0, with a solitary strike in that contest taking him to 27 for the season in just 24 appearances.

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