Messi at the double in Barca's win

Barcelona's Lionel Messi controls the ball during the Spanish league match against Sporting Gijon

But Barca's sporting director Robert Fernandez is certain Messi will snub interest from other clubs to stay at the Nou Camp.

Messi first scored 40 goals in a single campaign in the 2009/10 season and has repeated that feat every season since.

Messi and his strike partners led Barcelona back after Valencia's Eliaquim Mangala headed in from a corner in the 29th minute.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique lauded the "amazing" Lionel Messi after he netted a brace to help the club to a 4-2 win over Valencia on Sunday.

Although Munir El Haddadi drew Valencia level nearly immediately against his parent club, the 10 men struggled to contain Messi, who made it 3-2 after 52 minutes but will miss the trip to Granada in the first game back from the worldwide break due to suspension after picking up a late yellow card. The second goal meant that he has now scored a record 100 brace in his career at Barcelona.

Barcelona were erratic at times as they secured three points against 10 men Valencia to narrow the first place difference against Real Madrid to two points with Zidane's side having a game in hand. Andre Gomes made it four late on in the 89th minute of the game and made sure Valencia didn't have any chance to make a comeback.

A minute before half-time Mangala felled Suarez in the area to earn his marching orders and Messi tucked away the spot-kick. He will renew at the moment he chooses.

If you take Messi's goals out of Barcelona (and also his contributions to the team), those five European Cups Barcelona have in their cupboard might just be two.