Joan Laporta delivers verdict on Messi future

    Joan Laporta has offered his view of the ongoing saga involving Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona.

    Messi has decided to stick with Barcelona following a turbulent summer jammed-full of wild transfer speculations. The Barca captain seemed hell-bent on leaving the Blaugrana this past summer after seeing his side falter badly on multiple fronts last season. The La Liga powerhouse did everything in their power to prevent their standout performer’s departure or at least postpone the inevitable.

    Messi’s future is the elephant in the room. The Argentine has had a falling out with the club’s management and has since refused to pledge his future to Camp Nou. With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, everyone in Catalonia is wondering whether the new board would be able to convince one of the best players ever to stay put beyond the summer. Now, with Josep Maria Bartomeu out of the picture, Messi’s fate could take a new twist.

    Joan Laporta, who is running for Barcelona’s presidential seat, is one of the very few people that can make a strong case for the Blaugrana. The 58-year-old was the club’s chief twice before and is now looking for his third mandate. Keeping Messi on board is a priority for any election candidate, but there’s a genuine feeling that Laporta stands the best chance to make it happen. Indeed, he already played a vital role in convincing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to reject proposals from foreign clubs during his previous reign.

    Laporta is no short of confidence when it comes to the issue of tying Messi down to a new deal. However, the Catalan politician has emphasized where the veteran’s mind currently is. Unfortunately for the Barcelona supporters, it has nothing to do with a contract extension.

    “Messi is now totally focused on catching Atletico Madrid in La Liga and playing the Paris Saint-Germain tie in the Champions League,” said Laporta, via Sport.

    “I do not know if he will be playing on Sunday [in the Supercopa de Espana final], but he will be on the bench, and it is important that Leo encourage his team-mates.

    “I see him happier and happier; he is enjoying it. 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 an offer that suits him.”

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