Luis Suárez has insisted that Lionel Messi would stay at Barcelona for his entire life...if the club built a competitive team around him at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona's captain has been linked with moves away from the club ever since an exit clause in his contract was unveiled, something which would allow Messi to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of each season.
But Suárez is adamant Messi would be willing to stay at Barcelona for the rest of his life if the club starts to build a more competitive team around him in Catalunya.
"[The fears are] understandable because it's what he's said as well, that we're not going to get what we want with what we have now," Suárez told RAC1 (via Marca). "It depends on how the club recruits. Messi is very happy here. He's so happy here, it's his home.
"If the club does what has to be done, building a competitive team, then it's going to be great for him and he'll stay here for his whole life.
"He's said that himself. I think the club understood his message. It's normal for them to want the best player in the world, in the history of the club, to continue at this level here at Barcelona.
"I hope he stays."
One player who could be brought in to push Barcelona to the next level is Inter striker Lautaro Martínez, who is currently being eyed as a long-term replacement for Suárez at the Camp Nou.
Even at the prospect of losing his place in Barcelona's starting lineup to Martínez, Suárez admitted he's a big fan of the Argentina international and insists adding another forward to their squad in long overdue.
"Lautaro has a lot of quality because of the level he's now showing with Argentina and Inter," he added. "It's his second season in Italy and he's been on great form.
"But you have to understand that we, the players, don't make the decisions. We don't make the decisions. If it'd been down to the players, we would've brought in forwards a long time ago. I've been saying for two years that it would be good to bring in a forward, a young forward so that they can learn for when I leave the club, but they didn't listen to me."
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