According to RAC1 journalist Gerard Romero, Lionel Messi’s injury situation could be slightly more complicated than it seems. Romero reports that Messi did not have good sensations in yesterday’s training session which he completed normally. Adding to the news by ESPN journalist Moi Llorens, who said Messi’s injury issue from the Granada match was minimal but has still persisted.
Earlier today, Mundo Deportivo reported that Messi and Ronald Araujo did not turn up to the activation session ahead of tonight’s Supercup semifinal against Real Sociedad. SER later published that Araujo arrived for the session later. However, Leo Messi stayed back at the hotel. Both Romero and Moi Llorens are certain that Messi is ruled out for tonight’s clash against La Real.
Messi’s substitution in the La Liga game against Granada over the weekend only raised more eyebrows. Ronald Koeman aired on the side of caution, bringing off the Barça captain with half an hour to play. It is not often that Messi finishes the game on the bench. However, clips of the Argentine seemingly bothered by his hamstring surfaced shortly after the game. A report from Gol, suggested that it was Messi himself who requested the substitution after feeling discomfort.
With Barcelona aiming to win their first bit of silverware this season, it seemed as though Koeman might have risked the Barça talisman. In the pre-match press conference, the Dutchman did mention that Messi was among the few players who felt discomfort over the weekend. But later added that everyone seems match fit.
There is no official statement from the club’s channels yet about Messi’s absence today. It seems as though Koeman will have to cope without his star man for tonight. Even with the limited information available right now, it is best to keep Lionel Messi rested. Barcelona cannot risk any aggravation to a potential injury.
Report: Arsenal target wishes to join Barcelona in the summer
According to a report published by ESPN, Houssem Aouar is ready to see off interest from Arsenal in the hope that one of Barcelona or Real Madrid will come calling for his services in the summer transfer window.
Aouar has been linked to Arsenal for over a year now, with the London outfit in dire need of a creative force in their midfield. The board, led by owners KSE, decided to splash out cash for Thomas Partey in the summer instead of going all-out for a more attack-minded midfielder, namely Aouar, who was available for the same amount.
Several underlying problems of the team have come to the forefront this season, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe underperforming. Consequently, 20-year-old Emil Smith Rowe, and 19-year-old Bukayo Saka have been sharing the burden of imagination in the team.
The decision not to pursue Aouar may have come back to bite them, though. Lyon are not ready to sell their most prized possession in the winter, especially given their position in the Ligue 1 table. The French outfit are just two points off the first-spot, and serious contenders for the title.
Additionally, Aouar, too, is ready to waive off interest from Arsenal in the hope of joining one of Real Madrid in the summer and his decision in June will ultimately depend on either club’s interest in for his signature. Barcelona have not been linked with a move for the 22-year-old but were in for a move for his partner in crime, Memphis Depay. Even that transfer seems to have fallen through now, after Ronald Koeman’s meeting with the presidential candidates.
Aouar has scored three goals and set up an additional three for his teammates in the league this season and remains one of the best midfielders in the French league. However, for all his quality, a spot in Barcelona’s midfield may be tough to come by, though, given the meteoric rise of Pedri, and the promise shown by the likes of Riqui Puig and Ilaix Moriba. Their arch-rivals, Madrid, however, may have a spot opening soon enough, with Luka Modric on the last juncture of his career.