Sergio Ramos has had his say on Lionel Messi's contract wrangle - saying the Barcelona star has earned the right to decide his future.
But Real Madrid skipper Ramos said he hopes the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will stay at the Nou Camp and continue his part in one of the great rivalries of world football.
Messi shocked the football world last week when he announced his intention to quit the club where he has spent his entire career to date.
Messi's dad Jorge, who represents his son, was in Barcelona on Wednesday for showdown talks with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu - which reportedly ended in a stalemate.
Reports have since emerged from Messi's native Argentina claiming the player is ready to perform a dramatic U-turn and stay at the club - and Ramos hopes that proves to be the case.
Speaking ahead of Spain's Nations League match against Germany on Thursday, the Madrid legend said: "It's something that we're not focused on but the player has earned the right to be able to decide on his future.
"Having said that, for the Spanish game and for Barca and for the rest of us, we'd like him to stay as we always want the best around."
With Manchester City heading the queue of clubs wanting to sign the 33-year-old, Messi's camp believe the forward can leave for nothing according to a clause in his contract.
However, Barcelona insist that clause has now expired, and that any team wanting to sign him must cough up a release fee of €700million (￡621m) - a stance backed by La Liga.
Messi could now decide to see out the remaining year of his contract before leaving the club, according to TyC Sports in Argentina.
Ramos has also entered the final 12 months of his own contract - but says discussions over his future will be much more straightforward.
"It's something that we have yet to address but something that neither I or those at the club are anxious about," Ramos said in quotes reported by Goal.
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"I've spent years with Real Madrid and never really contemplated leaving and am confident that we'll reach a mutually suitable arrangement.
"My focus is now on preparing for a solid season ahead."