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A former Barcelona midfielder, Deco, has urged the club board to offer captain, Lionel Messi, a competitive team so as to prevent him from leaving Camp Nou.

Messi’s future at the Catalan club has been the subject of fresh speculation since Barcelona’s Champions League humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich last week.

Although Barcelona wants Messi to stay, the Blaugrana number 10 is believed to be seriously considering his future at the club.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Deco, a former teammate with Messi, said he could not imagine Barcelona without the 33-year-old.

Deco said: “I don’t know [if Messi will leave], but he has a contract,” Deco told Mundo Deportivo.

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“He’s a player who wants to keep winning, and it will depend on what Barca does when it comes to offering him a competitive team. I have not spoken to him, but I am sure that is what he thinks.

“I think he has to think about his future at a sporting level. It’s very difficult to make a decision because we are talking about the club of his life; it’s not that he has been at Barca for three or four years.

“We are talking about the best player in the history of the club and his family is linked to the city. It’s not easy.

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“But it is also clear that he wants to keep winning. We cannot imagine a Barca without Leo, but it can happen.”

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