Coach dismisses claim Barcelona star Messi will join Chelsea
Chelsea have rejected claims that Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is set for a move to Stamford Bridge.
The Argentine missed an open training session on Monday, sparking rumours of a potential exit from the Catalan giants and rumours of a move to west London gathered momentum when he followed the club on Instagram.
Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague said on Wednesday that Messi was the "closest he has been to leaving" but added that Â£550m – which covers his buyout clause and wages – would mean few clubs could afford him.
Despite ongoing speculation connecting Messi with Jose Mourinho’s club, assistant coach Steve Holland said: "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."
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu addressed Messi’s future on Wednesday and said: "Messi has a contract until 2018, he is happy with the club and wants to win more titles.
"There is nothing to panic about in that regard. Messi is the central figure. The team is built around him. The whole footballing world knows that Barca don’t want to sell Messi. For me he is the best player in the world."