Lionel Messi

Joan Laporta insists Lionel Messi 'will do everything in his power' to stay at Barcelona

Andrew Headspeath
Jan 17, 2021, 9:45 AM GMT
The frontrunner to be Barcelona's next president has spoken about Lionel Messi's future
The frontrunner to be Barcelona's next president has spoken about Lionel Messi's future | Fran Santiago/Getty Images
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Presidential candidate Joan Laporta has claimed that Lionel Messi will remain at Barcelona beyond the summer, as long as the club can make an offer that 'suits him'.

Messi's future has been the hot topic at Barcelona for more than half a year now after the player attempted to force a transfer last summer, amid Barça's on-field disappointments and off-field scandal.

Eventually he relented in his desire to move, but his contract will expire this summer regardless. As of 1 January, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been free to negotiate a pre-contract arrangement with a foreign club.

Laporta and Messi together in old times
Laporta and Messi together in old times | JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

In a recent interview, Messi hinted at his desire to play in Major League Soccer in the future, while obvious candidates Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain continue to be linked.

Mounting debt and a bubbling financial crisis means keeping Messi could be a struggle for Barça. However, presidential candidate Laporta insists the desire is there from the player's side.

“Messi is now totally focused on us catching Atlético in the League and in the PSG tie in the Champions League," he said via SPORT

Messi in action against Granada
Messi in action against Granada | Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

"I know he wants to stay and I know that he will do everything in his power to stay as long as the club can make him an offer that suits him.”

Laporta, who is the favourite to be voted in as Barcelona's next club president, will have to wait a little longer for the elections which have been delayed until 7 March due to the pandemic.

As a result of the delay, he confirmed that the interim board at Barça will not be able to make any first-team signings (including Eric Garcia from Manchester City) this transfer window.

He continued: “Eric Garcia will not come to winter. We cannot give a letter to the manager to carry out decisions like this. 

Eric Garcia had agreed personal terms with Barça
Eric Garcia had agreed personal terms with Barça | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

"The options and figures have been explained to us and we have all concluded that if his contract ends, the new board will decides to sign. We have assessed the player's salary, and it was an operation that had to be carried out by assessing the financial situation of the club."

Learn more about the remaining Barcelona presidential candidates and their position on key issues here.

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