Barcelona midfielder Rakitic: Messi benched? He's still happy

Valverde not looking to market expects Mascherano Barca stay

Samuel Umtiti's hamstring woe and speculation over Javier Mascherano's future will not see Ernesto Valverde rush into the transfer

Messi, seeking a fifth Ballon d'Or crown later this week, finally committed his long-term future to the Catalan club last week by agreeing a new four-year deal.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor has been in sensational form this season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions.

However, speaking ahead of City's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, Guardiola, who oversaw the bulk of Messi's rise to becoming arguably the greatest player of all time, rejected talk that a transfer was ever on the cards.

'The important thing is that he's happy here. "The important thing is that he's with us and he's by our side", he told reporters.

'Sometimes he should rest.

"The injury to Umtiti is not a good one but we hope he recovers quickly but we must look at other solutions such as Busquets or Digne".

However, it appears that Messi wasn't interested in making the move from the Camp Nou to the Etihad Stadium and politely declined. He's working hard so he can be with us as soon as possible, ' Rakitic added. The 25-year-old had his heart set on a switch to the continent, but has knuckled down and still performed at his best levels for Jurgen Klopp's team despite his desire to leave.

Valverde said: "We have time to analyse that decision". As a person and a player he's very important for the team'.

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