Messi and Enrique going nowhere

Bartomeu explained his decision to bring club board elections forward by 12-months to June in order to recover "stability" at the club after growing media reports of friction in the changing room and in the board room in recent times.

"We have decided to call elections at the end of the season in order to reduce the tension that the club is experiencing and suffering from," Bartomeu said to the Spanish media in a press conference on Wednesday. "I will be standing.

"I believe the tension the club is experiencing is disproportionate and it does not adjust in any way to the club's reality. To bring forward the elections by a year will help bring stability.

"I ask for fair play to all the candidates that will stand for election."

Spain’s Daily sports newspaper Marca claimed that many players, including Argentina star Messi, were unhappy with Luis Enrique tactical and coaching methods since he replaced Gerardo Martino as coach in the summer.

"We have no doubt in Luis Enrique's project," Bartomeu said. "Luis Enrique has a contract until 2016 and projects are not done short term. He has done a very good job and we are satisfied with his work.

"Luis Enrique is re-doing the team. There's no doubt he is the right person to be where he is."

Bartomeu shot down reports that Messi is considering leaving the club.

"I see Leo Messi very happy at Barcelona," Bartomeu said. "I see how he plays, his involvement, his hunger to win.

"They are all extremely motivated, not just Messi. Messi is our leader and we want him to continue to be our leader.

"What would I do if one day one offer arrives for Leo? There's no issue. Leo Messi has put his trust in Barca a long time ago, he is the best player in the world.

"There are things that don't need to be explained.

"This year's Leo has nothing to do with that of last season. In this season he has ambition, he has a lot of hunger and that is good news for Barca fans that Leo is as he is right now.

"Messi is not the life of the club but he is a crucial part of it, for sure," he added.

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