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Valverde dismisses Messi transfer talk

Lionel Messi has shown no signs of a desire to leave Barcelona, according to coach Ernesto Valverde.

Lionel Messi - cropped
Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has downplayed rumours linking Lionel Messi with a move away from the club.

Speculation continues to surround Messi's future with the 30-year-old superstar yet to sign an extension to a contract that expires at the end of the season.

Manchester City are reportedly willing to part with €300million to sign the Argentine, but Pep Guardiola has distanced them from launching a world-record bid.

In a media conference after Barca announced an agreement to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele for an initial €105m, Valverde dismissed questions over Messi's commitment to the club.

"Messi seems fine to me," Valverde said.

"He is training with us and seems to be the same as ever. I do not think there is any problem at all."

Barca visit Alaves in LaLiga on Saturday but Messi will not be joined in attack by Dembele until after the international break, when Luis Suarez is expected to return from his knee injury.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho continues to be linked with a switch to Camp Nou and Valverde confirmed further signings are likely.

"We have been waiting a long time, yes, but until the transfer window closes on the 31st there is still room to sign other players and also for players to leave," he said.

"We have got a lot of players who have been training since the first day but there is not room for all of them. That is the cruel reality.

"All clubs are in the same kind of situation. All clubs are trying to sort out their squads both in terms of players coming in and going out."

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