Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has denied any knowledge of speculation linking Lionel Messi with a move to Manchester City.
The Argentinian is expected to return to the Barcelona team for Wednesday’s Champions League match against Celtic in Glasgow, having sat out Saturday’s goalless draw against Málaga through illness.
Reports have suggested City, currently coached by former Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, are ready to make a move for Messi.
“I don’t know. I have no idea,” the Barcelona manager said. “Lionel is always ready to play and I’m sure he will be ready to face Celtic. He is 100% and eager to give the best version of himself.”
Luis Enrique was also quick to dispel the notion that Barcelona could repeat September’s victory over Celtic, when the Scottish champions were thrashed 7-0.
“It’s going to be a different game,” the Spaniard said. “What happened in September is not a reference to what will happen in Glasgow. Celtic have changed their style since then.
“We have to be ready for everything from Celtic – high pressure or low pressure. But it’s going to be a different story altogether from the last time.
“It’s always good to score early and Celtic need points, so they will come out, but I believe it won’t be anything like the last time.
“Celtic’s stadium is a great place. It is a stadium players want to play in. There is a great atmosphere, a great crowd, and I will tell my players to enjoy it and if they do then we will get to the next round.”
Asked about the Barcelona’s disappointing start to the 2016-17 campaign (the club lie four points behind Real Madrid in La Liga and were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City in their previous Champions League match) Luis Enrique said there was a long way to go.
“We are 12 games in the league and five in Europe,” he said. “It is November. We are not yet at Christmas, so there is a long time to go.”