Messi: I'll never leave Barça

Lionel Messi has said he would never leave Barcelona amid recent speculation Real Madrid want to bring the Argentina star to the Spanish capital.

Reports from Madrid suggested champions Real were preparing a sensational swoop but Messi laughed off the talk and pledged his future to Barcelona.

"I'll never leave Barca," the 21-year-old Messi told the club's official website. "I'll only leave if they throw me out. Barcelona is my home."

Messi is unlikely to be thrown out having scored 14 goals this season, including two in Saturday's 4-1 win over Numanica, as Barca sit 15 points clear of Real at the top of the Spanish first division.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta hit out at Real for using the media to try and unsettle the league leaders.

"They (Real Madrid) are relying on biased mass media institutions to spread these rumours," said Laporta. "It is an attempt to unsettle us and cover up their own problems.

"The most important thing is that he (Messi) is happy here, this is where he has grown up, and he is showing this with his performances."