Barcelona's Soler dismisses reports of Messi contract stand-off
Barcelona director Albert Soler has sent a "message of peace" to fans concerned by the fact Lionel Messi has yet to sign his new contract.
Messi agreed an extension running to 2021 in July, but has yet to put pen to paper, with the 30-year-old reportedly waiting to see the club's transfer dealings following the departure of attacking partner Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a EUR222million move.
France international Ousmane Dembele arrived in an initial EUR105m deal but late attempts to snare Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho failed after the Merseyside club demanded EUR200m for the Brazilian.
Despite widespread criticism of their transfer window as a whole, Soler claims there is no problem with Messi's contract and remains adamant it will be signed when the time is right.
"There is no problem, I want to send a message of peace to the members," Soler told reporters on Saturday.
"There has been the United States tour, we've had international duty, the season starting, there is absolutely no problem where Messi is concerned."
Robert: "We have a fantastic squad and the new arrivals will help us to compete and maintain our standards" pic.twitter.com/1b9x3NYJfL-- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 2, 2017
Soler denied suggestions the Barcelona board were angry with Neymar's former team-mates for not alerting them to his potential exit, but accepted his move impacted the club's ability to make new signings.
"Let's not get into players, they have a personal life, we respect that and we understand," Soler added. "We don't expect explanations from players. We manage the club from the situations that we are confronted by.
"When we received the sense that PSG were talking to Neymar, this was on the US tour, this was when we started working.
"Neymar is a very difficult player to replace so it has nothing to do with whether the money we received was good or bad.
"The real problem is not how much money we have, the problem is Neymar has gone.
"Let's face the facts, Neymar's departure has affected us in a sporting sense and that has had an effect on our negotiations."