Barça's Bartomeu: Isco? We'd certainly talk to Madrid

Barça's Bartomeu: Isco? We'd certainly talk to Madrid

Five seasons ago Real Madrid and Barcelona did not play each other in the cup.

"If it was the last match tomorrow, than it would be different", he said.

"It is true that sometimes we have had doubts with players and we have waited until the last moment", he said.

Solari, meanwhile, has practically a full squad at his disposal - including the in-form Karim Benzema and fully fit Gareth Bale - with only little-used defender Jesus Vallejo unavailable. We have the player we believe is the best in world but they also have great players.

If Messi manages to recover even partially, I think the decision will be up to him more than the manager, given his status at the club. The French striker has 18 goals, six more than he had in all of last season.

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"In a semi-final between Barca and Madrid there's no favorite".

Barcelona are among the clubs to have been linked with a move for the 26-year-old, along with the likes of Manchester City and Juventus, and Bartomeu would be happy to negotiate a deal with opposite number Florentino Perez. Ernesto Valverde's side thrashed Real 5-1 when they met in Catalonia back in October, and Wednesday's visitors are under huge pressure to avoid a similar embarrassment.

Ahead of the semi-final first leg of the Copa Clásico, Bartomeu discussed how the Catalan side would approach trying to sign the Spain global.

Valverde said his team won't change the way it plays if Messi is absent, and that his participation shouldn't be seen as a key factor. The forward was then included in the squad announced at 1900 GMT on Tuesday. This was just the first of three meetings between Spain's biggest sides in the space of a month, with another Copa Del Rey tie and a La Liga clash set to take place in the coming weeks.