After a week of intense speculation on the future of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Chelsea assistant coach Steve Holland insisted the Stamford Bridge outfit couldn’t afford to take the Argentine to London.
Rumours began circulating of a fallout between Messi and Barca manager Luis Enrique, prompting speculation that the 27-year-old could be about to call time on his career with the Catalans.
The Spanish giants have moved to dispel any suggestion he will move, insisting the player is happy at the Nou Camp.
“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,” president Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed this week.
Messi is sure to play his part in the crucial home clash with defending champions Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.
Barca are 1.60 to get a victory that would bring them back within a point of leaders Real Madrid. Diego Simeone’s side famously claimed the title at the Nou Camp last May and they are 6.18 to win, with the draw 3.80.
A move to Stamford Bridge for Messi is “impossible”, according to Holland. He said: “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.”
The coach said Chelsea are happy with their current squad and reiterated Jose Mourinho’s claim that there will be no new arrivals in this transfer window.
“Jose has made it quite clear his expectations are that nobody comes and nobody goes during the transfer window,” he added.