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Martino denies any intention to sell Messi
Barcelona, Dec 22 (IANS) FC Barcelona coach Tata Martino has insisted that the club has no intention of selling star striker Lionel Messi.
Martino made the remarks ahead of Sunday's La Liga match in Getafe and in the wake of declarations from Messi, criticising Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus, whom he accused of having "no idea about football", reports Xinhua.
Messi also insisted that he did not aske for a pay rise in a new contract, raising speculation that Barca could consider selling him.
"That is not true. I don't usually get distracted by questions like this which have nothing to do about the pitch," said Martino.
One of the rumours said that the Argentinean would abandon Barcelona at the end of the campaign as he was unhappy at the club, something he denied.
Barcelona face the possibility of losing their leadership in La Liga unless they match Atletico Madrid's result this weekend and Martino highlighted the importance of ending 2013 as the leader.
"It is very important to finish the year in first place and with a solid performance. I hope we can continue improving in respect to our recent displays," said Martino, who confirmed that Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol will miss the game because of injury, along with Messi and the suspended Neymar.
Photo Credit: fb account of FC Barcelona