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May 8, 2014

Messi 'has not requested signings'

ESPN's Jeremy Schaap sits down with Argentina captain Lionel Messi to discuss the Albiceleste's chances at the World Cup.

Lionel Messi has not asked Barcelona to sign certain players before committing to a new contract, his father told Catalan outlet ARA.

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Jorge Messi met Barca directors earlier this week and there have been widespread reports that he had requested that the club sign Manchester City star Sergio Aguero, as well as offering a new deal to reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto, before his son would commit his future.

However, Messi Sr. strongly denied the reports, telling ARA the meeting was with the club's financial vice-president, Javier Faus, and director general, Antoni Rosich, who are concerned only with finance and have no responsibility for transfer policy.

He stressed that contractual matters, clauses and figures were the only topics of conversation.

Messi's current contract ends in June 2018 and contains a release clause of 250 million euros, but talks on an improved deal have been ongoing since last autumn, with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu telling Esport3 last month the 26-year-old "deserves" a pay-rise.

However, the Madrid-based AS newspaper claimed on Thursday morning that Barca's board have seriously considered selling the four-time Ballon d'Or winner for 250 million euros after the World Cup. The report said a senior club figure even went so far as to email a suggestion to Jorge Messi that his son could receive 10 percent of a transfer fee if a move was accepted.

El Mundo Deportivo, though, maintains negotiations are progressing well and believes Messi could seal an extension until 2019 as early as next week, once the final details over the player's commercial are agreed.

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