BARCELONA boss Ernesto Valverde wants to drop Luis Suarez, but he can’t because of the former Liverpool man’s close relationship with Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi blocks Ernesto Valverde’s big decision on Barcelona ace Luis Suarez – report

BARCELONA boss Ernesto Valverde wants to drop Luis Suarez, but he can’t because of the former Liverpool man’s close relationship with Lionel Messi.

But Messi is a hugely influential figure in the corridors of power at the Nou Camp and is close pals with the Uruguay international.

It’s suggested he would take a dim view of Suarez being omitted from the team.

Valverde has faced a series of attacking woes since swapping Athletic Bilbao for Barca.

He lost Neymar to PSG in a world-record £199m deal.

Neymar’s replacement, Ousmane Dembele, then sustained a serious hamstring injury.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi doesn’t want Luis Suarez to be dropped

Diario Gol claim in light of his issues up top, Valverde was keen to try an alternative system.

The experienced chief reportedly wants to play Messi on his own in attack, with a bolstered midfield.

However, Messi is fiercely loyal to Suarez and won’t allow his pal to be relegated to the bench.

Selection issues aren’t Valverde’s only problem.

Barca’s long-standing history in Spain’s top tier has been thrown into doubt in recent days.

After a disputed referendum over the weekend, the wealthy region could make a bid for independence from Spain.

Reports yesterday suggested that if Barca could no longer compete in La Liga, Messi would welcome his team moving to the Premier League.

Barcelona played their top tier clash with Las Palmas behind closed doors on Sunday.

Controversy surrounding the referendum meant supporters weren’t allowed into the historic stadium.

Valverde’s men still cruised to a 3-0 victory, though.