La Liga

Bartomeu: Messi is not for sale

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi signed a two-year extension to his existing deal with Barca last February.
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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has again insisted Lionel Messi is not for sale, but refused to give a timescale for when a new contract with the Argentina star will be agreed.

Messi signed a two-year extension to his existing deal with Barca last February which will keep him at the club until 2018, but the club are keen to further secure the future of the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"We cannot say when it's going to happen because when we do things with our players we try to keep as much confidence as possible," Bartomeu told Sky Sports' Guillem Balague. "What I can say is that we want Messi to be here, he is number one in the world. We need him to be happy and he is very happy in the city of Barcelona, in our club.

"He was almost born as a player here, as he came very young at 13-years-old. All of his careers is here so the object is for him to stay with Barcelona. I think the members of the club, they can be satisfied because we will have Messi for a lot of years here. We don't sell Messi."

Bartomeu said Brazilian striker Neymar is fully focused on returning to fitness after the controversy surrounding his contract, which ended with Sandro Rosell resigning last month.

"He is okay and he's really anxious to get back playing," he said. "He was injured a few weeks ago and we hope in the coming days he will appear again and play."

Neymar's return would be a huge boost ahead of an exciting end to the season, with Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all on 57 points at the top of the table.

"In the last few years it's been Real Madrid and Barcelona who were wining and battling for the title but this year, Atletico Madrid is doing a nice job. Probably not for Barca but for football fans, this is good news for them."

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