Lionel Messi wants to ‘STAY at Barcelona as long as club can offer him something that suits him’, claims presidential candidate Joan Laporta despite superstar – who will be a free agent in the summer – expressing his desire to leave at start of the season
- Joan Laporta claims Lionel Messi is ‘happy’ and ‘enjoying himself ‘ at Barcelona
- Laporta also says Messi will do ‘everything he can to stay’ with the Catalan club
- Barca are currently third in LaLiga, seven points behind leaders Atletico Madrid
- Argentine star is expected to be on the bench against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday
Joan Laporta, the favourite to become the next president of Barcelona, has revealed that Lionel Messi wants to stay at the Nou Camp.
Barca’s legendary talisman has been at the centre of news concerning the club, since attempting to leave last summer after becoming disillusioned with the direction of the Blaugrana.
However, according to Dario Sport, Laporta has confirmed that Messi is happy at Barcelona and wants to stay with the Catalans.
Barcelona legend Lionel Messi wants to stay at the Nou Camp, according to Joan Laporta
Laporta claims Messi will stay with the Catalan giants as long as they offer him the right deal
‘Messi is now totally focused on us catching Atletico in the league and on the Paris Saint-Germain tie in the Champions League,’ Laporta said. ‘I don’t know if he’ll be playing on Sunday (when Barca play Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de Espana final), but he’ll on the bench and it’s important that Leo encourages his teammates.
‘I see him as being more and more happy, he’s enjoying himself. Against Real (Sociedad) it was a great football match. I know that he wants to stay and I know that he will do everything in his power to stay as long as the club can offer him something that suits him.’
Barcelona failed to win any silverware last season and the 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League was the end for former manager Quique Setien.
Messi’s unhappiness at Barca was further compounded by the sale of Luis Suarez, three years on from the departure of Neymar. Meaning that the two great Barca sides of recent times were no more; the team established by Pep Guardiola had mostly retired and the side assembled by Luis Enrique had also been disbanded.
Messi wanted to leave Barca last year after becoming disillusioned at the direction of the club
However, there have been signs of a recovery for the Catalan giants and Barca fans will hope that if Laporta is elected he could prove crucial in convincing Messi to stay.
Laporta was club president in the glory days of 2003-2010 and was vital in building the team that won Champions League titles in 2006, 2009 and 2011.
Current boss Ronald Koeman has much work to do if he’s to restore the Catalans to heady heights of yesteryear; they are currently third in LaLiga, seven points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona will be hopeful of landing their first piece of silverware under Koeman, when they face Athletic Bilbao in the Super Copa de Espana final on Sunday evening.
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