Man City Chief says club have the financial muscle to sign MessiBarcelona have given Lionel Messi permission to extend his Christmas holiday and miss the final game of the year against Eibar on Tuesday.

“First team player Lionel Messi is completing the treatment of his right ankle,” the club said Sunday. “The player is expected to return to training after the FC Barcelona-SD Eibar match.”

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According to Spanish media reports Messi is understood to still be in Rosario, Argentina, celebrating the festive period with his family.

He will return after Tuesday and be available to coach Ronald Koeman for Barcelona’s away fixture with Huesca on Jan. 3.

From Jan. 1 Messi will be in the last six months of his Barcelona contract and therefore free to speak to other clubs.

The player is not expected to exercise that right, instead waiting to see who wins the presidential elections at the club, scheduled for Jan. 24. (dpa/NAN)

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