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LIONEL MESSI stopped Barcelona signing Mesut Ozil this summer.
The Arsenal star has been linked with a move away from the Gunners in recent months.
Ozil, 28, is out of contract at the end of the season and the Germany international could leave on a free transfer if Arsenal don’t tie down their star man.
Reports last month claimed Ozil’s agent offered the former Real Madrid man to Barca, with the midfielder keen to return to La Liga.
However, according to Spanish transfer outlet Don Balon, Messi demanded Barca didn’t sign Ozil.
They say the Argentina international told Barca chiefs Ozil wasn’t the right player to replace Neymar at the Nou Camp.
And Don Balon say Messi’s demand was the reason behind the Arsenal star staying in London.
Barca were desperate to replace Neymar this summer following the winger’s £200m move to Paris St-Germain.
The La Liga giants signed Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund but the Spanish club were in the hunt for other players.
Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho was also on Barca’s wish list but a move didn’t materialise, with the Reds refusing to sell the Brazil international.