Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi's father meets with Joan Laporta to discuss new Barcelona contract

Tom Gott
Barcelona are working to secure Lionel Messi's future
Barcelona are working to secure Lionel Messi's future / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Barcelona president Joan Laporta held his first meeting with the father of forward Lionel Messi to discuss the Argentine's plans for the future.

During his presidential campaign, Laporta vowed to do whatever it took to keep hold of Messi, whose contract is set to expire in the summer. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have both been touted as potential suitors, but Laporta remains determined to keep hold of the player.

Joan Laporta
Laporta has vowed to do anything / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

According to TV3, the first step in a potential contract renewal has been taken as Laporta and Messi's father Jorge met for dinner specifically to talk about the forward's plans for the future, and the Barcelona president left feeling very satisfied.

There was no formal offer presented as Barcelona must wait until their financial results for the year come in, but Messi is thought to be willing to wait and he is even looking for creative solutions to ensure he can stay, including slashing his wages in half.

To compensate Messi, Barcelona would agree to pay the Argentine even after he leaves the club, employing him in an ambassador role that would see him rake in the earnings he missed out on.

Lionel Messi
Messi is keen to stay / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Messi hopes to remain at Barcelona for another two seasons before taking his talents over to Major League Soccer, where he would also begin that ambassadorial role.

After his stint in the US is over, Messi would be keen to return to Camp Nou to work behind the scenes in the boardroom.

Nothing is even remotely close to being finalised just yet, but this is the first time that Messi's camp has communicated an active desire to stay in Barcelona, and with Laporta prepared to move heaven and earth to get the deal done, things are looking up for La Blaugrana.

Ronald Koeman, Lionel Messi
Koeman hopes Messi will stay / David Ramos/Getty Images

"I hope that Leo continues with us," manager Ronald Koeman said recently (via AS). "His career has to end here because he has been here all his life.

"I do not care what has come out. What may happen at the end of the season, we will see then. I don't care today."

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