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Messi keen to see Higuain at Barca next season

Higuain has only spent one full season at current club Napoli, but he has been strongly linked with a return to La Liga following a six-year spell at Barca's arch rivals Real Madrid.

The 26-year-old striker enjoyed a strong debut campaign in Italy, scoring 17 league goals as Napoli clinched third place in Serie A.

That form has led to speculation that Higuain could join Barcelona, although Napoli were quick to quash the rumours via an official statement on their Twitter account on Sunday.

However, Messi has fuelled further talk of a possible transfer by stating that he "would love" for Higuain to join him at Camp Nou.

"I've talked to (Higuain) and the truth is I would love him to come to Barcelona and have him as a partner for the club," said Messi at a press conference ahead of Argentina's FIFA World Cup match with Iran on Saturday.

New Barca coach Luis Enrique is busy rebuilding his squad as he looks to regain the Liga title from Atletico Madrid and has already completed the signing of midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla.