Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has criticised Lionel Messi’s performances this season.
The 33-year-old, who went public over his desire to leave the Camp Nou in the summer, has not quite been at the races this season.
Messi has one goal – a penalty – and two assists in four LaLiga games, and while Koeman accepts he has been “unlucky” he had said the Argentina star has not been at his best.
Maybe, at the moment, Messi’s performances could be better,” the Dutchman said ahead of Barca’s Champions League date with Ferencvaros,
“But he is happy, he is working hard and he wants to be the captain. I don’t have a single complaint. He has also had some bad luck. He hit the post [in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Getafe] and on another day that goes in.
“I don’t have any doubts about his performances and we’re going to see him [at his best] in the upcoming games, I’m sure.”
Manchester City were heavily linked with Messi recently but a move for the six-time world player of the year did not materialise as the Argentinian opted to stay with Barcelona.
It looked at one stage as though City were in pole position for the superstar when it emerged he was calling time on his Barca career.
But just days after City were given encouragement, it was announced that Messi would be staying to play at the Camp Nou this season.
Over the weekend the Daily Mirror claimed that Barcelona still fear Messi will move to The Etihad next summer.
Due to a contract clause in Messi’s deal, the attacker is able to leave Barcelona for free. That is if he activates it before the end of a season – something he failed to do last term.
However, City suspect that Messi will not make the same mistake again . They will offer £15m at the mid-way point to bring Messi to the Premier League half a season earlier.