Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has snubbed questions on the rumoured fall-out with club’s talisman, Lionel Messi, Information Nigeria understands.
The 44-year old sparked fire when he left out Messi, Neymar, among others, in the La Liga match against Real Sociedad, which they eventually lost courtesy of a Jordi Alba’s first half own goal.
According to reports from an impeccable source that Information Nigeria scrutinized, Luis Enrique and Lionel Messi were believed to have argued both before and after the loss. Subsequently, the Barcelona star then missed Monday’s training session due to a ‘Stomach bug’.
Enrique was furious about the 27-year old absence and wanted to fine Messi for Monday’s no-show, but was begged by Xavi Hernandez to ignore the plan.
A popular Journalist in Spain told our writer Femi, that Barcelona allegedly used the excuse of ‘gastroenteritis’ to attempt to cover for his absence in training.
Speaking at Barcelona’s press conference ahead of the Copa Del Rey clash against Eleche, the Manager refused to answer questions directly about the rift with the four-time Ballon d’Or winner:
“At the moment it just seems to be negative vibes, nothing positive. I don’t think I should be asked to confirm any or deny any of these rumours. It would stir up more problems than it would solve. Things are going to happen during the season and it is up to us to sort it out,” Enrique said.
“Things that happen between the team and the players will always be kept [like] that. My job is not to discuss the rumours, it is to be first team manager.”
He also expressed confidence about keeping his job, despite a possible sack pending:
“I am always in contact with the president. They have not given me any ultimatum. I am going into the Elche game with the same confidence as ever.
“I feel motivated and am thinking about the things we can improve. I have the same faith in my players as ever.”
In other developing story, Spanish newspaper AS are reporting that Lionel Messi apparently told the Barcelona’s board ‘it is either Luis Enrique or me’.
The diminutive Argentinean doesn’t share the coach’s beliefs on which system suits Barça best.