Barcelona star Lionel Messi is influencing Ernesto Valverde’s team selection – report

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The former Everton ace didn’t feature for the Catalans yesterday as they dropped points against Celta Vigo.

 

Barca could only manage a 2-2 draw against their La Liga rivals – and Deulofeu wasn’t involved.

 

Spanish media outlet Don Balon say Messi – who is a hugely influential figure at the club – informed Valverde that he didn’t want the Spaniard to play.

 

It’s suggested the Argentine superstar also had the backing of several other senior players.

 

Deulofeu was whistled by fans during the 5-0 win over Real Murcia in midweek.

 

He failed to score or assist a team-mate but Valverde urged the former Milan loanee to let his football take its course ‘naturally’.

“Deulofeu? He tried from the first moment,” the Barcelona boss said.

 

“It’s true that towards the end, he got anxious because he wanted to score a goal or put a piece of play together.

 

“Sometimes when you insist on doing something, it gets more complicated. You have to let everything flow naturally.

 

“However, other than that, such insistence has its positives. It doesn’t worry me. He’s fine and he doesn’t have any physical problems.”

 

With Ousmane Dembele reportedly a few weeks away from returning, Delofeu could see his game time become even more limited.