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Messi hasn't spoken to Argentina boss 'for a while' as injury clouds international recall plans

11:33 AM GMT+4 05/02/2019
Messi - cropped
The Barcelona superstar was expected to return to the Albiceleste squad in March, but Lionel Scaloni is giving nothing away at this stage

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni admits it has been "a while" since he last spoke to superstar Lionel Messi.

Messi last played for the national team at the 2018 World Cup, but is widely expected to make his return in March.

Goal revealed in January that plans are being put in place to bring the 31-year-old back into the Albiceleste squad.

Scaloni said at that time: "We will speak with Leo in the days before the March list. When the time is right we will speak.

"I hope he can be here but more than that, we want him to be happy. I have a good feeling."

The Argentina boss has, however, conceded that efforts to welcome a mercurial talent back into the fold have gone no further since then.

"I have not talked to Messi for a while now," he said.

"He has a match in a few days and we'll see if he can play."

Messi is currently nursing a thigh problem picked up during a La Liga outing for Barcelona against Valencia.

His club manager, Ernesto Valverde, has said of that knock ahead of a Clasico clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey: "[Messi] has a small problem.

"I don't know exactly what he has.

"We will have to wait to see what medical staff say. If he's in good shape, he'll play on Wednesday.”

Ahead of a Copa America campaign later this year, Argentina are scheduled to face Venezuela and Morocco in friendlies next month.

Messi is enjoying another fine season for Barcelona, scoring 29 goals in 27 games in all competitions.