Luis Enrique
Luis Enrique addressed the media before the La Liga encounter with Osasuna Getty


  • Boss addressed media ahead of La Liga trip to Osasuna.
  • Neynmar is out of the game due to suspension.
  • Jeremy Mathieu remains on the sidelines.
  • Aleix Vidal and third keeper Jordi Masip have also been left out of the 18-man squad due to technical reasons.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique refused to predict if Lionel Messi will sign a new contract at the Nou Camp, but welcomed reports the Argentine's father arrived in Spain earlier this week to address the issue with club officials. Meanwhile, the boss has urged his side to use the midweek victory over Borussia Monchengladbach as a springboard ahead of the encounter with La Liga doormats Osasuna on Saturday (10 December), in which Neymar will be unavailable due to suspension.

Radio station show El Transistor reported earlier this week that Messi's father had landed in Spain to open talks with the club over a renewal.

Neymar, Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano have all inked new deals in recent months at Barcelona, while president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed earlier this week that Luis Suarez is expected to follow before Christmas.

Luis Enrique expressed hopes Messi could be the next name tied down, welcoming news the player's father had arrived in Spain to discuss a deal.

"Of course [I like the news]. The day on which [Messi's renewal is] announced will be a great day for everyone to celebrate. He would join a list of players that have renewed and want to stay at Barca and form part of the Barca family," the Barcelona boss said in a press conference ahead of the clash with Osasuna.

But asked by a TV Cuatro reporter whether he could say the Argentine will certainty put pen to paper on a new deal, he said: "No, I don't dare."

Luis Enrique has a strained relationship with TV Cuarto, so the curtness of the response may not indicate pessimism.

Elsewhere, the Barcelona boss urged his players to be ready for the coming game with Osasuna as the Catalans remain six points behind Real Madrid in La Liga, following last weekend's drawn El Clasico.

"We need to get off to a good start and that means playing well from the very first minute. We have to be effective with the ball," Luis Enrique said, refusing to take anything for granted despite the struggles of their opponents.

"Osasuna need to win, but so do we because we're six points short of the lead. This isn't any old game for us, the points couldn't be more important."

Barcelona arrive to the game on the back of a 4-0 victory in their midweek encounter with Monchengladbach. Luis Enrique made wholesale changes in that game as his side had already won the group. However, the boss believes the win could help them ahead of upcoming games.

"It was an unusual game against Borussia because there was nothing to play for. But the way we played and won so convincingly was a good boost for everyone and the perfect starting point for continuing to improve our performances."

Meanwhile, Neymar will miss the clash with Osasuna due to suspension while the boss has also left Aleix Vidal and third keeper Jordi Masip out of the squad due to technical reasons. Furthermore, Jeremy Mathieu remain on the sidelines after the Frenchman suffered a setback in his recovery from a soleus injury.