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Barcelona president Laporta plotting ambitious bid to unite Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou – report

Barcelona president Laporta plotting ambitious bid to unite Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou – report
According to a report from Spain, Barcelona chief Joan Laporta is contemplating a bid to team up Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi next season in what would be an historic pairing of two of the world's most successful players.

Spanish media outlet AS has claimed that Laporta, who was installed as Barca president for a second time earlier this year, has begun to "dream aloud" about the prospect of a tangible move for Juventus star Ronaldo in a switch which would pair the two players who have dominated football's individual honors list for the last decade. 

Indications from within the Barcelona hierarchy suggest that one-time wantaway star Messi is close to agreeing terms on a new deal to stay with the club he has represented since he was a boy, ruling out potential moves to Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain in the process.

Should they secure a new deal for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner, next will come an ambitious move to secure Ronaldo's services ahead of next season - but that audacious transfer would cost the cash-strapped club a pretty penny.

Should Barca complete the unlikely move, however, it would likely create a host of bountiful marketing opportunities by combining football's two most famous global superstars.

AS claim that Barca officials have yet to make formal contact with Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, but say that a transfer "operation" is currently being assembled at the Camp Nou – with Barcelona thought to be considering offering two of their players in part-exchange for the Portuguese ace.

The report says that a trio of Barcelona stars – Antoine Griezmann, Phillipe Coutinho and Sergi Roberto – could be offered as a makeweight for the potential transfer, with the wages of the departed players going towards paying Ronaldo's sizeable salary. 

Ronaldo's future with Juventus remains in doubt this summer after he refused to confirm that he would remain in Turin for next season while in camp with Portugal at Euro 2020 – where he has moved to within two goals of Ali Daei's all-time international goalscoring record of 109.

AS also states that the plans have left Barca officials "excited" and that they are cautiously optimistic that all parties could be amenable to a deal under the right circumstances.   

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A forward line comprising Messi and Ronaldo would unite this generation's two undoubted stars of the sport, but it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo's loyalty to former club Real Madrid would prove a sticking point in what would be this summer's biggest – and perhaps most controversial – transfer.

Judging by the reactions online, football fans will have to see this one to believe it.

"Why am I seeing Ronaldo to Barcelona from AS?" asked one on Twitter.

"As if Ronny would betray Madrid," declared another, while a third offered a more brief summation of the rumors.

"And pigs can fly," they said.

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