Gennaro Gattuso expects Nico Gonzalez to remain at Valencia for the rest of the season, despite reports suggesting Barcelona are considering recalling the midfielder.

Nico left Camp Nou on loan in search of regular minutes in August but has struggled to nail down a first-team spot with Valencia.

Although Valencia have made a decent start to their first campaign under Gattuso, winning four of their first eight LaLiga games, the 20-year-old has played a limited role.

Nico has made seven league appearances this season, but five of those outings have come from the bench, meaning he has featured for just 231 minutes in the competition.

With Barcelona enduring an injury crisis, reports in Spain have suggested the Blaugrana could cut Nico's loan short in January, but Gattuso has called for him to force his way into Valencia's team instead.

"This is the first time I've heard of it. No player has spoken to me," Gattuso told reporters on Friday. "He is working very well. He has a one-year contract with us. The player has not come to talk to me.

"All the players want to be starters and I think he should work well on the field, and when he has the opportunity to play, show it.

"He is a great professional. He trains very well but I have a squad of 23 or 24 players. He is a kid who always trains fully."