The Argentine returned to Rosario – his home city – earlier this week to spend time with his family over Christmas and he is yet to return to the Catalan capital.
Last week, Messi scored his 644th goal for Barcelona, breaking the record set by Pele with Santos, to continue his remarkable record throughout his career.
Messi continues to be hugely influential for Ronald Koeman’s side, with 10 goals in 18 games this campaign, but he will not be involved against Eibar this week.
Koeman explained in his pre-match press conference, in quotes carried by Marca: “He had an ankle discomfort and that is why he has not been able to train and he will not be there tomorrow. He will return after the game. If he has not trained for a week, he will be better.”
Koeman was then questioned on whether or not Argentine boss Mauricio Pochettino joining Paris Saint-Germain might influence Messi’s decision to move to the French capital: “I don’t know. I can’t comment. Messi decides his future not based on a coach or a country. He must decide it with his family. I don’t think a coach decides on his destiny.”