Ernesto Valverde says he left Lionel Messi out of the Barcelona starting line-up against Juventus as he felt he needed a rest. The magician has carried the club on his shoulders for nearly a decade now.
The Argentine's future is still undecided, with his current deal expiring in June 2018.
LaLiga's president Javier Tebas claimed earlier this month a contract has now been signed, although questions remain over whether that is the case.
"Messi is a part of our club's badge and I am confident he will stay".
"Juventus vs Barcelona is one of those games for which you don't need any extra motivation".
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Chelsea though would be highly reluctant to let go of their most important and creative player.
"I can not say for certain if he will stay or not as it is his decision and you must respect that, he has earned that right".
But the boss has also urged the club to be discreet in its intentions after in the summer officials made several promises to fans over new signings which they were unable to keep. "I want to be playing with Leo for another three, four or five years".
Messi's future has been the matter for much debate ever since the terms of his new contract were agreed nearly five months ago.
The latter, who is still just 23-years-old, started for Juventus at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Sunday and was partially at fault for Sampdoria's second and third goals. The Catalan Club is 10 points clear of Real Madrid and 4 clear of 2nd place Valencia.
Valverde admits that he would welcome those additions but insisted that he is now only focused on the clash at Juventus with Barcelona still needing a point to secure their qualification to the last 16 as group winners.