LIONEL MESSI is "very unlikely" to leave Barcelona this summer, according to Brazilian legend Ronaldo.
The Argentine megastar is reported to have told the Catalan giants he wants to go "immediately" after their Champions League humiliation.
But former Barca ace Ronaldo cannot see that happening with Nou Camp chiefs set to insist his £631million release clause is paid in full.
The 43-year-old owns the Catalans' LaLiga rivals Real Valladolid.
And speaking to a webinar hosted by Santander, he said: "It's very unlikely that he'll be able to leave Barcelona at the moment, especially when there's a crisis of results.
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"Messi is a reference for the team and, if I were Barcelona, I wouldn't let him leave in any situation.
"He has a great and strong relationship with the club and I don't think he'll stop being in love with the team.”
Barca were thumped 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-final by Bayern Munich just days after losing the LaLiga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Quique Setien was swiftly sacked and was replaced by Ronald Koeman on a two-year deal.
Messi cut short his holiday to meet with the Dutchman but he is said to fuming the resulting private conversation was leaked to the press.
It was reported by Catalan radio station RAC1 the six-time Ballon d'Or winner told Koeman he is seriously considering his future at Barca.
And Argentinian news outlet Clarin stated Messi was "furious" contents of the meeting were made public.
They claim Messi has been left angry by the fact the source of the leak – RAC1 – regularly backs president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
It has been said Messi believes Barcelona have fed this information to the radio station in order to paint him as the bad guy who is looking to jump off a sinking ship.
Koeman spoke about the situation with Messi and said: "He’s still got a contract and is still a Barcelona player.
"At this point I need to speak to him because he is the captain.
"We need to work with him and speak with various players. We need to make some decisions but in Messi’s case I hope he stays with us.
“I don’t know if I have to convince Messi [to stay], whether it’s that or not.
"He is the best player in the world and the best player in the world you want in your team, you don’t want him playing against you.
“As a coach I would love to work with Messi because he wins matches.
"If he’s at the ability and level he has always shown I’d be more than happy for him to stay."
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