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Laporta hints that keeping Messi at Barcelona will be hard

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Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta while speaking to Sky Sports Italy, mentioned the keys to Lionel Messi’s renewal with the club. He hinted that convincing the Argentine to stay will be a tough ask. Messi has been constantly linked to a move to either Paris Saint Germain or Manchester City, ever since he announced his desire to leave at the end of the 2019-20 season.

The years of Champions League humiliations are bound to break the camel’s back. Yesterday’s crushing defeat to PSG in the Round of 16 first leg has definitely made matters worse.

The 4-1 rout at the hands of Les Parisiens has all but guaranteed Barcelona’s elimination from Europe this season. Laporta, in his interview, implied that it will be tough to keep Messi without titles. He also reiterated the superstar’s financial importance to Barça.

“Messi wants to win with Barcelona. I’ll do my best to keep him, there are some clubs really interested in signing him. Leo wants to win titles, not just to earn money,” said Laporta. 

“He’s not a ‘problem’ for Barca, Messi is 30 per cent of the club’s profit,” he added.

Lionel Messi’s current mega-contract with Barcelona is set to expire on the 30th of June. As of January 2021, he is free to negotiate a deal with any club of his choosing. The Champions League defeat to PSG may turn out to be a key factor in deciding his future.

If things continue on the same path, it is highly likely that the 33-year-old makes his way out of Barcelona in the summer.

Joan Laporta however, also highlighted that he shares a great relationship with Messi. He is certain that Leo needs to be honoured with the affection he deserves and to convince him a strong sporting project is pivotal. If there is one man who might be able to tip the scales for Messi, it is probably Laporta.

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