Messi will only leave Barcelona for Newell's Old Boys, claims Tevez

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An international colleague of the Camp Nou superstar says a delay in the penning of fresh terms in Catalonia is a matter of the heart, not money

Carlos Tevez is confident Lionel Messi will commit his future to Barcelona, with Newell’s Old Boys the only side that could lure him away from Camp Nou.

The Argentine superstar has made no secret of his desire to head home at some stage, having spent his entire professional career to date in Catalonia.

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Messi was on Newell’s books as a youngster, but was snapped up by Barca in 2001 while still in his teens.

He has gone on to become one of the finest players on the planet, with his legacy as an all-time great already safely cemented.

His future is, however, generating plenty of speculation at the moment, with no extension agreed to a contract that is due to expire in 2018.

Lionel Messi Barcelona 14012017

Barcelona have sought to curb the rumours at regular intervals, and Tevez – an international team-mate of Messi’s – remains confident that the 29-year-old will stay put until the time comes to return to his roots.

He said in quotes published by Marca: "The renewal for him, it is not a matter of money, it's more about what his heart tells him.

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"It's difficult to have a long relationship such as the one Barcelona and Messi have had, and I don't think he will leave.

"The day he does, I think he it will only be so he can go home to join Newell's Old Boys - but it's a personal decision for him."

Carlos Tevez

While playing down Messi’s interest in lining his pockets, Tevez has recently completed a high-profile switch from Boca Juniors to Shanghai Shenhua.

He is reported to have signed a deal that makes him the highest paid player in world football, but the Argentine insists he has moved to the Chinese Super League for sporting reasons, not financial ones.

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Tevez added: "I am not saying the amount I will earn because I think it's confidential.

"I love this sport and every time I play I try to do it in the best way.

"It is a very nice challenge for me and what matters is to be able to perform well on the pitch."