Messi rejects Real transfer rumours

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The Independent Football

Lionel Messi has rubbished recent media reports suggesting he could leave Barcelona to join bitter rivals Real Madrid.

Speaking after his side's 4-1 win over Numancia, in which he scored two goals, the Argentina star dismissed reports that he could be tempted to swap the Camp Nou for the Bernabeu.

"I do not know where all these rumours start but I have never wanted to leave this club," he told Barca TV.

"If I ever leave, it will be because they do not want me, not because I want to leave.

"Barcelona has always treated me and my family in an extraordinary fashion, ever since I was a small child.

"Staying with Barca would be my way of thanking them for what they have done for me.”

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid have dismissed rumours claiming that they have agreed a deal to allow Argentina striker Sergio Aguero to join Real.

The 20-year-old has scored 40 goals in 104 games for Atletico and his current club are adamant that no agreement has been reached with their capital rivals.

A statement on Atletico's official club website: "At no point have Atletico Madrid had either formal or informal contact, much less reached an agreement or signed any contract with Real Madrid for the sale of Sergio Aguero, nor of any other player.

"The player has a valid contract until the 2011-12 season and a buy-out clause for 60million euros.

"The player has demonstrated on numerous occasions his commitment to the club, for which it is the intention of both parties to remain united.

"It is the interest of the club to achieve and reach each year our set sporting targets and take the team far in each competition and for that we are relying on the aforementioned player."

However, Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos has told Javier Saviola he should join a 'lesser team' in his search for more regular first-team football.

The Argentina international has started just one La Liga game this season and has seen his career stall in Spain following frustrating spells with Barcelona and now Real.

But Ramos has little sympathy for the plight of the 27-year-old forward and has urged the former River Plate star to move on.

"It is normal that squad players complain. I like those players, rather than those that are not bothered when they are not selected," said Ramos.

"It is good to ambitious, but in a team like Real Madrid if a player wants to play every minute he should seek a lesser team.

"If Saviola played it is difficult to see who I would drop.

"The players that are ahead of him have shown consistent form that warrants a first-team place."