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Messi is negotiating a new contract at Barcelona (Picture: Getty)

Sergio Aguero believes Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona whatever happens to the club amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Messi and his team-mates agreed to a 70 per cent pay cut when football was forced to go into shutdown, but released an angry statement slamming club chiefs for putting pressure on the players to accept a salary reduction.

The Argentina legend has spent his entire senior career at Barcelona and was in talks to extend his deal with the Catalan giants, which expires at the end of next season.

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Despite speculation about his recent bust-ups with the board, Manchester City star Aguero cannot envision Messi ever leaving the club.

‘Leo is a player who is a symbol and a legend of Barcelona,’ Aguero told El Chringuito.

‘They have changed 20,000 players since he has been there and he has always stayed.

Messi is in talks to sign a new deal at Barcelona (Picture: Getty)

‘I know he has had the opportunity to leave, but he has stayed.

‘It’s not about his salary, about more cash, it’s because he loves the club.’

Messi turns 33 in June and has been a leading voice for players during the health crisis.

Aguero plays alongside Messi for Argentina and explained Barcelona’s talisman has always been happy at the club.

‘He identifies with Barcelona and he’s comfortable there,’ he said.

‘He’s happy. Even with a thousand things happening at the club, he’ll stay.

‘Unless something catastrophic happens, or things are really bad, but I don’t think that will be the case.’

Messi took the unusual step to speak publicly about his grievances with the board, saying: ‘Even many times we have also done this on our own initiative, at other times when we thought it was necessary or important.

‘Therefore, it does not cease to surprise us that from within the club there were those who tried to put us under the magnifying glass and tried to add pressure to do something that we always knew we would do.

‘In fact, if the agreement has been delayed for a few days it is simply because we were looking for a formula to help the club and also its workers in these difficult times.’

MORE: Lionel Messi prefers Barcelona to sell Ousmane Dembele instead of Philippe Coutinho

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