Toni Kroos goads Lionel Messi over potential Barcelona exit

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Padraig Whelan

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Real Madrid star Toni Kroos has jokingly claimed it takes ‘cojones’ to stay in Spain, amid Lionel Messi’s ongoing transfer saga.

The Barcelona captain’s father and agent Jorge has arrived in the Catalan capital for showdown talks with the club today.

Speaking on the Einfach mal Luppen podcast with his brother Felix from Germany’s training camp, he shared his thoughts on the biggest story in football.

“I don’t think he’ll come to Real Madrid,” Kroos responded when asked if the ultimate shock transfer ever was a possibility.

“I’d rule that out categorically. To stay in Spain, you need cojones for that. I don’t think anyone in football can imagine Barcelona without Messi.

“[If he left] it would most likely be Pep [Guardiola] and Manchester City but it isn’t something necessarily bad for us.

“Messi being away from Barcelona would mean they lack a complete weapon.”

The former Bayern man is currently part of the national squad that is preparing for a Nations League doubleheader against Spain and Switzerland.