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Barca brand Messi 'unsellable'

Barcelona have declared Lionel Messi "not for sale" - but admitted Xavi could leave the club this summer.

Last Updated: 03/07/14 at 11:58 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: 'Not for sale'

Lionel Messi: 'Not for sale'

Messi, who has steered Argentina to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil, could soon be joined at the Nou Camp by Luis Suarez as talks continue with Liverpool over a move for the striker.

But president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists Messi - who in May signed a new deal worth more than £16million a year - remains settled and ready to to lead the club's "important renovation" after a trophyless term.

"As far as I'm concerned Messi doesn't want to leave," Bartomeu told reporters on Wednesday. "A few days ago we adapted his contract and he is very happy here."

The Nou Camp chief admitted midfielder Xavi's future was far less certain.

The 34-year-old, who made his Barcelona debut back in 1998, has been linked with a switch to Qatar as he comes to the end of a glittering career, but will be given time to decide on his next step.

"He has earned the right to decide as he sees fit and we will help him as much as we can," Bartomeu said.

"If it was another player, it would be us who would say what had to be done, but we will give Xavi time to decide. The day he leaves he will be remembered as the most successful player we've ever had. He is the essence of our game".

Bartomeu predicted further player exits after confirming the club was in the market for a forward, as well as new defenders.

But he played down speculation that Chile forward Alexis Sanchez would be used as a makeweight in a move for Suarez.

"We have the names and the players (we want to sign), but sometimes there are clubs who speculate over possible signings by Barca to manipulate the price," he added.

"There are several teams interested (in Sanchez). We need him, he is essential to our game, but we are getting calls from many clubs."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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