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Martino welcomes Neymar-Messi reunion for Rayo Vallecano clash

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Martino welcomes Neymar-Messi reunion for Rayo Vallecano clash
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Martino welcomes Neymar-Messi reunion for Rayo Vallecano clash

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino is eagerly anticipating the prospect of partnering Lionel Messi with a fit-again Neymar in his side's attack.

The Brazil international has been included in the squad for Saturday's game with Rayo Vallecano after recovering from the ankle injury that has seen him miss his side's last eight matches.

And Martino is delighted to welcome the 22-year-old back into the squad, along with Messi, who played in the midweek Copa del Rey meeting with Real Sociedad depite suffering flu-like symptoms.

"I look forward to having all players at my disposal. It's welcome to have Messi and Neymar back together," Martino said during a press conference. "Messi had something flu-like. There is nothing to worry about, he was almost recovered. There was nothing that meant he had to be left out of the team. I gathered that from the fact I saw him blow his nose a lot, not because I spoke with the doctors."

Xavi was omitted from the squad for Saturday's match but Martino insists his is not a serious problem.

"Xavi is OK, he was left out of the squad and he worked in the gym," Martino said.

Martino also said he has yet to discuss his long-term future at Camp Nou with sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, stressing that their conversations to date have been centred on the team's objectives this season.

"I haven't yet spoken with Zubizarreta. Now we have to think about these important matches and there will be time to think about what will come," he added. "We talk, but never anything to do with next season."

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