Lionel Messi Is 'Comfortable' at Barcelona, Says Argentina Boss Lionel Scaloni

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

SEVILLE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 09: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona in action prior to the Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on February 09, 2020 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni believes Lionel Messi is "comfortable" at Barcelona despite his recent spat with sporting director Eric Abidal. 

There have been reports recently that Messi could leave the Camp Nou after his angry response to Abidal's comments about Ernesto Valverde's departure:

According to The Athletic's Sam LeeManchester City believe there is a possibility they could sign the six-time Ballon d'Or winner in the summer.

Meanwhile, per Sid Lowe in the Guardian, the exchange with Abidal has awoken Barca's "greatest fear" that Messi could leave the club, not least because he has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for free at the end of any season.

Barca's results have also not been great recently. January's 3-0 defeat to Valencia has seen the Blaugrana drop three points behind Real Madrid in the title race:

The Catalan giants were then knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao last week before Messi set up all Barca's goals in their 3-2 away win over Real Betis in La Liga:

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Scaloni, though, said he does not have any concerns about Messi despite recent events, per Sacha Pisani of Goal:

"I see him fine. The other day, against Real Betis, he was the best player in the field without scoring. He gave the assists and participated on every chance. He's fine, he's comfortable; he will have to decide on his future, but I think he's comfortable. I'm not worried at all. He's comfortable. He's comfortable at the national team and at Barcelona. Then what will come will come; I stay out of it."

Barcelona are more reliant than ever on Messi at the moment because both Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are sidelined with long term injuries.

As a result, they have been granted permission for an emergency transfer, and Real Sociedad's Willian Jose is their top target, per Sky Sports. 

The 28-year-old Brazilian has scored eight goals in 22 La Liga appearances in 2019-20.

Barca are back in La Liga action on Saturday when they host high-flying Getafe, who sit third in the table after winning four on the bounce without conceding a goal.