After this morning's nonsense that Chelsea have been in contact with Jorge Messi about his son's situation, Barcelona president (for the time being) Josep Bartomeu spent some time speaking with the Spanish media. Lionel Messi's situation obviously came up, and this is what was said in response:
"Messi has a contract until 2018, he is happy with the club and wants to win more titles. There is nothing to panic about in that regard. Messi is the central figure. The team is built around him."
"The whole footballing world knows that Barca don't want to sell Messi. For me he is the best player in the world."
I'm not sure anyone believes that Messi is 100% happy with life at Barcelona at the moment, but there's basically no arguing the second part of Bartomeu's statement. There's no way that Barcelona would even consider selling Messi while their transfer ban is effective, meaning the only way for Chelsea to get the player would be to pay his ludicrous buyout.
For those thinking that the buyout is a reasonable option, you might want to take a few minutes to read this excellent piece by Gabriele Marcotti. It does a pretty nice job of squashing the idea that Chelsea (or anyone) could reasonably make that move with Barca unwilling to negotiate.
All this trolling of Barcelona by talking about acquiring Messi is fun, but in the end it's probably nothing more than a power play from the Argentine to get his current manager sacked, cement his position as the most powerful figure at the club, and earn a nice little paycheck along the way. I'm perfectly content with being used as a pawn in that scenario, and won't be able to stop laughing when Cesc Fabregas is photographed sliding a Chelsea jersey over Messi's head. Just pay your taxes this time, Leo.