Messi committed to Barcelona

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has once again refuted claims of a potential move by stating he will remain at the Catalan club for as long as they want him.

Speculation was building about Messi's future with the club after contract extensions had been agreed with strike partners Luis Suarez and Neymar, but not for the Argentine forward.

Club CEO Oscar Grau added fuel to the fire by announcing that proposed La Liga spending caps might have a big impact on what the Catalans can offer Messi by way of a new contract, especially in light of the kind of money being offered by Chinese Super League clubs currently.

However, the player himself insisted he would not be going anywhere as long as the club still wanted him.

"I have always said that Barcelona has given me everything and I am here for as long as they want me to be," he told Coach Magazine.

Messi also waded into the on-going debate about Pep Guardiola's struggling Manchester City side and believes the former Barcelona head coach just needs sufficient time to adjust.

"It is a very competitive league, last season showed that, so it makes it very difficult to predict," he added.

"Of course Pep is a very successful coach, he will be adjusting to the league, but I am sure that he will be successful."

Larsen: The calendar is tight

Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen admits the Premiership's proposed schedule changes will require some additional planning for next season.

The PSL announced on Monday that the league will finish three weeks later than initially intended, which means the final round of fixtures will only take place on June 17.

The extended season will have a big impact on the teams' off-season planning, but Larsen is taking it in his stride.

"Each club is going to have to re-look at the rest period that the players are given at the end of the season," he told KickOff.

"We will have to calculate our return dates and structure our planning accordingly.

"By the time we finish off we should know when the start of the 2017/18 season will be and work back from there.

"But what can we do? The calendar is tight and we need to get all the games in this season."

Motaung: Gordinho's contract was extended

Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung has denied claims that Lorenzo Gordinho will be available on a free transfer for Danish Super League side Aalborg BK.

The South Africa youth international returned to Naturena on Wednesday after two weeks in Europe, where he trained with Championship side Fulham and then spent a week on trial at Aalborg.

After being invited by the Danish top-flight outfit, the 22-year-old impressed in a friendly against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim and Aalborg said they would assess the financial aspect of a potential deal before making an announcement.

It was reported in local media that Gordinho had entered the final six months of his contract and would be free to talk to any potential suitors over a pre-contract deal to leave for free at the end of the season, but these claims have been quashed by Motaung.

"Gordinho has extended his contract, but we haven't made the announcement. I can't give you all the details," he told Times Live.

"I have just returned to the office [from holiday and won't be answering further questions]."

Gordinho has been one of Amakhosi's stand-out performances this season, scoring three goals in 18 games across all competitions as well as being a rock in the heart of their defence.

Klopp unsure if Matip can play

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he needs to seek legal advice over whether defender Joel Matip is eligible to play for the club in the FA Cup on Wednesday night.

Matip elected not to represent Cameroon at the on-going Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, despite being included in the nation's preliminary squad for the tournament.

The defender was listed among the squad to play against Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday but was forced to withdraw after FIFA intervened and now the Merseyside club admits they need to seek advice before making any further decisions about his inclusion during the African showpiece.

"Of course I need advice, I'm not a lawyer, but the decision is for me to make," he told the media.

"I could put him in the line-up, I don't think referee is going to say 'stop, stop, you cannot go on the pitch'.

"We have had a lot of talks over the days and weeks. We've done transfers quicker than this.

"It's already long-term, but now it's getting really tense on our side. We've tried everything, but at the end I have to make the decision."

If Matip is included on Wednesday and it is later found he should have been ineligible, Liverpool may face expulsion from the competition, but Klopp says the club just does not have enough information at this stage.

"That's the next thing, we don't know," he added. "Most of the time in life you know if you do this, then you get this. But it's not 100 per cent clear what happens."

Burke: Leipzig have to keep going

RB Leipzig youngster Oliver Burke has said that he isn't surprised by the club's immediate success in the Bundesliga this season.

Despite competing in the first top-flight campaign in the club's history, Leipzig have already surfaced as title challengers and trail Bayern Munich by only three points at the halfway point in the campaign.

Burke, who joined Die Bullen in the summer, is determined to keep the remarkable run going, adding that anything can happen in football.

"To be honest, I wasn't so surprised [by Leipzig's impact on the Bundesliga] because speaking with the coaches and the manager, you could just see the goals and where they want to be," said the 19-year-old, according to the Evening Times.

"Obviously it happened a lot quicker, but I could see it happening. I didn't know it would happen so quickly because it's their first season in the Bundesliga, but we've adapted really well. We have to keep going. There's still a long way to go.

"We can't dwell on our recent results. We should get a bit of confidence from the result against Rangers and go into our next game with bundles of confidence.

"Anything is possible. I can't say [if we will win the Bundesliga]. Football's a crazy game. We'll see. It's for you to find out."

Samper not interested in Gunners move

Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper claims he turned down the chance to sign for Arsenal in the pre-season transfer window because he wants to succeed at the Catalans.

The 21-year-old was subsequently sent to Granada on a season-long loan deal with Barca head coach Luis Enrique keen for him to get game time to aid his development and him unlikely to do so at Barcelona with Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic also in his squad.

With Samper's future seemingly in doubt at the time, Arsenal made an approach for the youngster, but he was not interested in making a permanent move away from the Nou Camp.

"I did not want to listen to Wenger," he told Granada's official website.

"I told him clearly that I wanted to stay, I wanted to succeed at Barcelona, and what would make me happy was succeeding at Barcelona in the future."

Samper has made 13 La Liga appearances for Granada this season and has looked impressive despite the side's poor form that sees them sit second last in the standings and set for a battle against relegation.

"I feel important in the team. I am enjoying where I am and I hope that we can change the situation," he added.

Palacio hails Inter character

Inter striker Rodrigo Palacio believes the team have turned the corner following their 3-2 victory over Bologna after extra time in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday.

The Nerazzurri led their visitors 2-0 after the Argentine's goal, but Bologna fought back to 2-2, forcing the game to go 30 minutes longer.

However, Inter kept their nerve and found the winning strike in the 98th minute to advance to the next round.

"We're a different Inter side now and we never give up," Palacio told Inter Channel after the game.

"I'm happy with my goal and I'm happy for the team. We needed to go through and that's what we managed to do. We have to keep going, though.

"We were excellent in the first half and it's a shame about that unlucky goal we conceded.

"We ran hard and fought for every ball in the second half, despite conceding an equaliser, and we deserved to go through. Now we have to focus our attention on Palermo."

Agent: Yaya likes football more than money

The agent of Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure claims the player turned down a huge contract offer from Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning last January.

The deal, believed to be worth £520,000 per week, never came to fruition after Toure chose to remain with the Citizens, according to his representative Dimitry Seluk.

"Yaya wants to play at the highest level. He's happy at Manchester City. Yaya likes football more than money," he told Sky Sports News HQ.

The midfielder entered the final six months of his contract in January and his long-term future with City is still slightly in doubt.

The 33-year-old has only recently become a feature of the first team squad again after being virtually frozen out at the start of the campaign following an alleged row between new manager Pep Guardiola and Seluk, but it now seems likely he will earn a place in the Champions League squad for the second half of the season.

Moyes bemoans thin squad

After seeing his side knocked out of the FA Cup by Burnley on Tuesday, Sunderland manager David Moyes blamed the lack of options available to him in the squad.

The 2-0 defeat saw the Black Cats run of games without a win stretch to six with no clear solutions in sight after yet another abject performance.

They are suffering from a string of injuries to key players and Moyes was able to make just three changes to the side that lost to Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday - a match in which he did not make a single substitution.

"I've not wanted to use it as an excuse and I've genuinely tried not to, and I'm not using it here," he said.

"The players that are out there I expect to play better, I don't expect them to make a couple of mistakes, but if I had other players, maybe I could take some players out and put somebody else in.

"I could do something different with it and let them know - you're not getting away with that. At the moment I can't do that.

"I've tried not to use it in any way as an excuse but it's a fact, we're short, we're finding it a struggle, we're putting near enough the same players out."

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce was happy to see his side beat Burnley in the FA Cup on Tuesday and wants more of the same when they meet Everton in the Premier League this weekend.

A brace from Christian Benteke helped secure a 2-1 win for Palace, Allardyce's first win as Eagles manager, to see them book a place in the fourth round against Manchester City.

It was the club's first win since the beginning of December and only their second win in their last 17 games in all competitions and Allardyce believes it could be the catalyst to help get them out of their slump.

"Wins grow confidence," he said. "No doubt about that. How much confidence we get from this game will show on Saturday.

"The big test is getting a result against Everton, which would grow the confidence. A result, a win, would be fantastic.

"I need the players to play better. Not just these players, but those who played last Saturday. I need them at their top form and to stay there for a period of time, and that comes from believing in their ability, going to watch videos from 2015 when they went fifth in the Premier League.

"Let that bring them confidence and go out with a positive attitude and play like that again. We need that from every member better now and the end of the season."