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Ronaldinho has made a plea to Lionel Messi and wants him to stay at Barcelona.

Messi is currently a free agent after his contract at the Nou Camp expired at the end of June.

The Argentine recently led his country to the Copa America title but has not yet renewed his club deal ahead of the new season.

Last summer, the 34-year-old shocked the footballing world by asking to leave Barca after 20 years of service.

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But as the Catalonia-based club dug their heels in and demanded a team pay his £631 million release clause, Messi remained and enjoyed a stellar season, scoring 30 La Liga goals as a young and refreshed Barcelona finished third.

His former team-mate, Ronaldinho, believes he should sign a new contract in Spain and has labeled him the “history” of the club.

The Brazilian playmaker told TuttoMercatoWeb : “He must stay, he is the history of Barca.

“When Messi retires, which I hope will be in a long time, he can leave the No 10 there and nobody will touch it again.”

President Joan Laporta, who Messi backed in the March election, has returned to take charge of the club and recently provided an update on the negotiations.

“The player has always said he wants to stay on and we are making good progress with the negotiations.

“[Rafael] Yuste and [Mateu] Alemany are working very hard,” two directors at the club.

Should Messi stay at Barcelona or seek a new challenge? Comment below.

“What we all want is for Messi to stay at Barça.

“To stay for a lot of years and play alongside such talented footballers as Depay.”

“We are very satisfied with the attitude being shown by both parties, which an operation like this needs,” he stated.

“Leo is on holiday right now, but he has a whole team working to get him a contract that suits everyone.”Sport have claimed that Laporta is hoping a new deal can be announced in the next 10 days, with the cash-strapped Blaugrana managing to get Messi to agree on taking a ‘significant pay-cut.

Depay is one of three free-agent signings Barca have already acquired this summer.

Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia will also line up alongside the Dutchman for the new term.

Barca’s ‘Operation Exit’ continues as they look to free-up funds and remedy their financial situation.

The post Ronaldinho makes plea to former teammate Messi over Barca future appeared first on Sporting Life.

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