Barcelona president Jordi Bartomeu has insisted that Lionel Messi remains very happy in the Camp Nou and has no desire to pursue a potentially lucrative £100 million switch to the Premier League, confidently delivering that message after talking to the Argentine superstar's father.
Messi's rather loaded comments about his long-term future earlier this week sent the transfer rumour mill into overdrive, with both Manchester United and Chelsea linked with a world-record transfer that would fly in the face of every Financial Fair Play regulation UEFA are attempting to enforce.
Bartomeu has attempted to swiftly nip Messi transfer talk in the bud by revealing that he's spoke to the player's dad Jorge to gain assurances over his commitment to the club, a conversation which left the Nou Camp chief more than satisfied his talisman is going absolutely nowhere.
Damage control from Bartomeu
In an interview with on Spanish television 8TV, brought to our attention by AS, Bartomeu claimed: Leo is really happy at our club; his father has told me so. He hasn’t asked us for a new contract renewal. He’s happy.
"We always help the players at this club and [former coach Pep] Guardiola also said the same a few years ago."
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Messi sparked this debate himself
Bartomeu has been on the defensive after Messi insisted that his desire to spend the best of his playing days with Barcelona is out of his hands, hinting at complications which may mean he has to face the prospect of continuing his glorious career elsewhere.
Here's what the three time Ballon d'Or winner actually said: “Many times I've said it. If it were up to me I would stay forever.
"But as I have said, things don't always work out as you plan them. More so in football, where so many things change and so many things happen.
“It's complicated, more so right now with what is happening at Barcelona.”
Barca under pressure to act
The Catalan giants could certainly do without speculation surrounding iconic leader as Luis Enrique attempts to put his stamp on a team which somehow ended up trophyless last season.
Enrique and Messi are both under huge pressure to make sure that doesn't happen again this term, particularly as the 27-year-old's return of seven goals in 11 La Liga games is strong but nowhere near the quite extraordinary 18 in 10 Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo has managed to register.
Barca will be glad that they can turn to on-field distractions for a change this weekend against Sevilla, but unless Messi comes out and clarifies why he felt the need to leave lingering doubts over his future expect speculation over his future to keep on rumbling.
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