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

Presidential candidate Joan Laporta has claimed that Lionel Messi will to stay in Barcelona beyond the summer, as long as the club can make an offer that ‘suits them’.

Messi’s future has been the hot topic at Barcelona for more than six months now after the player tried to force a transfer last summer, amid Barca’s on-pitch disappointments and the off-pitch scandal.

Eventually, he gave in to his desire to move, but his contract will expire anyway this summer. Since January 1, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been free to negotiate a pre-contractual agreement with a foreign club.

Former Barcelona president Joan Laport
Laporta and Messi together once | JOSEP LAGO / Getty Images

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

Growing debt and a seething financial crisis mean keeping Messi could be a struggle for Barca. However, presidential candidate Laporta insists the desire is there on the player’s side.

“Messi is now totally focused on us to catch up with Atlético in the League and in the PSG draw in the Champions League,” he said via SPORT.

Lionel Messi, Dimitri Foulquier
Messi in action against Granada | Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

“I know he wants to stay and I know 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 frontrunner to be elected Barcelona club’s next president, will have to wait a little longer for the elections which have been postponed to March 7 due to the pandemic.

Due to the delay, he has confirmed that Barca’s interim board will not be able to sign as a first-team (including Manchester City’s Eric Garcia) this transfer window.

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

Eric Garcia
Eric Garcia had agreed personal conditions with Barça | Quality sports images / Getty Images

“The options and the numbers were explained to us and we all concluded that if his contract ends, the new board will decide to sign. We assessed the player’s salary, and it was an operation that had to be done by assessing the financial situation of the club. “

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