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Barcelona move to rule out Messi and Iniesta exits

1:23 AM SGT 29/8/17
Lionel Messi Barcelona 2017
The La Liga giants have sought to end any suggestion that their talisman could depart the club, or that a long-serving midfielder could join Juventus

Barcelona have moved to rule out any suggestion that Lionel Messi or Andres Iniesta will soon be leaving the club.

Long-serving skipper Iniesta continues to spark transfer talk after seeing his ongoing contribution questioned at 33 years of age.

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A move to Serie A champions Juventus has been mooted for the World Cup winner, but neither Barca nor the player are considering a switch at present.

The same applies to Messi, with the Argentine superstar expected to stay put despite being yet to commit to fresh terms and extend his stay at Camp Nou past 2018.

Barca director Ariedo Braide told Radio anch’io sport on the rumours: “Iniesta to Juventus? No.

“Barca’s players aren’t on the market. Iniesta will stay with us.

“Talk of Messi leaving? I don’t think so.

“Anything can happen in football, but Messi’s a great professional and Barcelona are in his heart. I don’t think he’ll leave.”

Barca announced in July that Messi had agreed to a new deal through to 2021.

That paperwork is yet to be signed, though, and speculation has linked the 30-year-old with Manchester City in recent weeks.

The Premier League side have distanced themselves from those rumours, but Messi’s long-term future remains unclear.

Iniesta has also entered the final 12 months of his current contract and a decision will need to be made on him at some stage if he is to remain a one-club man.