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    Wednesday, August 19, 2020

    Barcelona President Bartomeu Names 8 Players That Are ‘Untouchable’

    Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists that the club see Lionel Messi as one of their "non-transferable" players amid suggests the club icon could walk away from the Nou Camp.

    Barca's 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last Friday has led to much introspection in Catalonia, with manager Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal having already left this week.

    Former Everton and Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has been appointed as Setien's successor, but the Dutchman could be walking into a difficult situation amid suggestions that Messi is unhappy with the direction the club is headed.

    The Argentinean has been linked with moves away to several clubs, but Bartomeu says that won't be the case for either him or seven more of the club's stars.

    "Messi is untouchable & non-transferable," he told a news conference on Tuesday. "He knows it, we all know it.

    "But there are various non-transferable players like (Marc Andre) Ter Stegen, (Clement) Lenglet, (Nelson) Semedo, (Frenkie) De Jong, (Antoine) Griezmann, (Ousmane) Dembele... players we are counting on in the future."

    After naming those six players along with Messi, Bartomeu added youngster Ansu Fati to his 'non-transferable' list after confirming that there had been transfer interest around him.

    "We have had (offers) for Ansu Fati, for example," he added.

    "But Barca does not want to sell players, although we receive several offers for players.

    "We don't want to sell him. He has a great future. I'm telling you from here, he's non-transferable."

    Elaborating on Messi's future, he added: "I have spoken with Koeman and the pillar of our project is Messi.

    "He has a contract until 2021, I speak a lot with Leo and more regularly with his father.

    "He is number one in the world. There is no doubt that in Koeman's new project you can count on Messi."

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