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Bartomeu relaxed over Messi messages

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he is not concerned by the apparent mixed signals being given out by Blaugrana talisman Lionel Messi over recent days.

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The forward signed a new, improved long-term contract at the Camp Nou on Monday before flying to Argentina to begin preparation for the World Cup.

Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, the 26-year-old said that although he saw Barcelona as his home, he could still leave if he did not feel accepted by those around the club.

While incoming Barca coach Luis Enrique said at his presentation on Wednesday that returning the four-time Ballon D'Or winner to his best form was a key priority, the club president said at that event that Messi's apparent unhappiness about certain things was not a concern to him.

"I am not concerned at all about that," Bartomeu said. "He is delighted to remain at this club and in the city of Barcelona. He is relaxed, excited and looking forward to coming back. He is one more Catalan."

Enrique also used his first public appearance as new Blaugrana boss to talk bluntly about a summer shake-up of the squad, suggesting that big names could leave the club, while he wanted to strengthen "all the lines" of the team.

The club's current sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said that there was no rush to get all their business done early, and called on fans to be patient.

"The market closes on Aug. 30," Zubizarreta said. "Other years we have signed players right at the whistle, despite having begun to work on transfers at this time.

"We must have patience. We will not sort out the issue of the squad [ins and outs] in a fortnight. The market has its pace and its moments.

"Last year, for example, it did not begin to move until the final fortnight. In World Cup years, even more, the market does not start to move until that is over."


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