‘Messi aware he has physical limit’

Josep Maria Bartomeu has explained how Lionel Messi’s recovery period is longer than needed and confirmed ‘advanced negotiations’ for a goalkeeper.

The Catalans are without their Argentine talisman for the rest of the calendar year after he was handed a six-to-eight-week recovery period from a torn hamstring.

However, one of the club’s Vice-Presidents has explained the reasoning behind 26-year-old’s recovery period actually being longer than is required.

“Early on we were nervous as we did not expect him to get injured again,” first stated Bartomeu on RAC1 this week.

“The important thing now is that there is good planning and that there is the peace and time for him to return to Barcelona at his very best. We do not forget that he is our best player.

“Messi is now aware that he has a physical limit. His injury could be resolved within two or three weeks,  but his recovery will be longer so that he can recover physically for when he returns in January 2014.

“Messi’s injury will be to the benefit of everyone. He will return fully recovered and the team will prove that they can win without him.

“The physical and dietary preparation is the same as it has been in recent years. The meals are controlled, there are two meals a day and also physical training here, and the players eat together at the Ciutat Esportiva.”

Barca continue to be linked with goalkeepers in the transfer market, amid Victor Valdes’ expected departure come the end of the season.

Bartomeu conceded that things could be made official as early as January.

“We have been looking for a goalkeeper since Valdes announced he wanted to leave. We are in highly advanced negotiations. If Valdes says officially where he will go to in January, we will announce the new goalkeeper for Barcelona.

“Our idea is to sign only one goalkeeper. [Marc-Andre] ter Stegen and [Pepe] Reina are within our range of options, which is already very small.”

Tags Bartomeu Messi Monaco Reina Ter Stegen Valdes