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Messi opens door to leaving Barcelona

Barcelona star Leo Messi has hinted at a willingness to leave the Nou Camp in the summer.

Rumours of a rift with the hierarchy at the Catalan club has seen the Argentine forward linked with potential moves to Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City.

Leo Messi might leave Barcelona. Credit: PA

Messi, who is nominated for the Ballon d'Or, has now fanned the flames of speculation, by saying he is unsure about his playing future, whereas previously he had planned to stay with Barcelona until the end of his career.

Messi said: "I'm not sure where I'll be next year. I've always said I'd like to end my career at Barcelona, but as Cristiano [Ronaldo] says only God knows the future."

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Chelsea: Messi deal impossible

Messi looks like he will be staying with Barcelona. Credit: PA

Chelsea assistant coach Steve Holland has poured cold water on the prospect of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi moving to Stamford Bridge.

The Barclays Premier League leaders have been linked with a £500million move for Messi following claims in Spain this week that the 27-year-old's relationship with Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has broken down.

But Holland believes the sums involved in luring the Argentina playmaker away from the Nou Camp make the transfer impossible for any club.

Facing the press in place of the absent manager Jose Mourinho, Holland said on Friday: "Jose has made it quite clear his expectations are that nobody comes and nobody goes during the transfer window. We're perfectly happy with what we have.

"It's not a decision I personally would make. When you look at the numbers being mentioned around Messi, I would think it's an impossible deal for any club working within the financial fair play rules."

Enrique fails to elaborate on Messi feud

Enrique claims he is happier than ever at Barcelona. Credit: PA

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has refused to elaborate on rumours of unrest at the club and a fractious relationship with Lionel Messi.

Star man Messi is said to have skipped training on Monday after being left out of Sunday's defeat at Sociedad and growing tired of Enrique's methods.

Reports this week have seen the superstar linked with Chelsea, while others have suggested that Enrique has been given an ultimatum by the club's board.

I don't want to comment [on Messi]. We know things change and a month is a long time. Things have changed but it is up to you to speak to parties involved. I am as happy as ever here, happier even.

At the moment it just seems to be negative vibes, nothing positive. I don't think I should be asked to confirm any or deny any of these rumours.

It would stir up more problems than it would solve. Things are going to happen during the season and it is up to us to sort it out.

– Barcelona manager Luis Enrique

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Zubizarreta: Barcelona and Man City are two great teams

Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta believes his club will have a tough time trying to overcome Manchester City.

The Catalans face the Premier League champions for the second successive season, after Barcelona won the tie 4-1 on aggregate last season.

"It is the same draw we had a year ago, it was a very difficult game and we are going to look forward to it. Manchester City have an outstanding squad with a very good coach, a very good team and are very competitive," the former goalkeeper told Eurosport

"We know all about them. They have been playing at a very high level and it is going to be difficult. Two great teams with incredible players and anything can happen.

PSG supporter stabbed by thugs in Barcelona

Barcelona were 3-1 winners over PSG in last night's Champions League match. Credit: PA

Spanish police have confirmed a Paris Saint-Germain supporter was stabbed by hooded thugs near Barcelona's Camp Nou last night.

The victim was admitted to a nearby hospital where his condition has been described as serious, but not life threatening.

The attack took place on Felipe de Paz following Barcelona's Champions League victory over PSG, when two hooded individuals approached the victim from behind.

Police are investigating whether a second stabbing which took place when four hooded thugs approached someone on the nearby Avenida Madrid, is also football related. The victim of this second attack has been discharged from hospital

A statement from Barcelona's criminal investigation unit confirmed: "The police are working to determine the exact circumstances of the facts and to detain those responsible."

It comes less than two weeks after a Deportivo fan was killed following violent clashes outside Atletico Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium.

Valencia to ban fan that hit Messi with bottle for life

Spanish side Valencia say they will ban the fan who hit Leo Messi with a bottle during their match with Barcelona on Sunday.

The Argentine forward was struck when celebrating Sergio Busquets' last-minute winner over Valencia at their Mestalla stadium.

Leo Messi played in the victory at the Mestalla. Credit: Reuters

"Valencia CF regret and condemn the isolated incident in the game against FC Barcelona, in which a small, uncapped bottle of water was thrown from the stands at opposition player Lionel Messi," Valencia said on their website.

"The club will endeavour to locate the person who threw the bottle and they will be banned for life from the Mestalla.

"Valencia CF operate a zero tolerance policy on such actions and rigorously enforce all security measures set out by legislation."

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