• The duo is still training separately from Barcelona team-mates.
• Barca want both back for Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are still training separately from the rest of the Barcelona squad as they continue their injury comebacks.
Both face a race against time to be fit for Saturday night’s home La Liga fixture against Valencia and are following tailored fitness plans to maximise their chances.
According to Diario AS, Barcelona club officials remain optimistic they will be ready for the game and next week’s Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund.
Messi picked up a calf injury on his first day of pre-season training back on August 5. He was scheduled to return for the league fixture against Real Betis on August 25 but suffered a relapse just beforehand.
Reports in Spain suggest Messi could be introduced from the bench against Valencia before starting the Group F opener at the Westfalenstadion next Tuesday.
Suarez suffered a calf muscle tear in his right leg and is expected to rejoin his team-mates in full training today with a view to a role from the bench against Valencia.
Barca have a win, a draw and a defeat from their first three league matches.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has revealed he tried to bring Lionel Messi to Arsenal at the same time he bought Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
The former Arsenal manager signed Fabregas, who had progressed through Barca’s famous La Masia academy, as a 16-year-old in 2003.
The Spaniard had played with Gerard Pique and Messi, but Arsenal’s enquiry into the availability of the ‘untouchable’ Argentinean maestro was dismissed by Barcelona.
“We were in discussions with [Messi] when we bought Fabregas, because Messi played [with him],” said Wenger. “You can realise sometimes what fantastic youth teams you had before when you’re a club like Barcelona. In the same team, Messi, Pique and Fabregas.”
“Pique and Fabregas came to England, Messi stayed in Spain. We were interested in him, but he was untouchable at the time.”
Fabregas signed for Arsenal in the same season the Gunners went a whole Premier League season unbeaten - their last Premier League title in 2003/04