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Barcelona presidential candidate makes major Lionel Messi transfer claim

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has insisted Lionel Messi will “do everything in his power” to stay at the club.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner sent shockwaves throughout the footballing world by requesting a transfer away from Barca in the summer.

In the end he was forced to stay at the Nou Camp, however, but is free to leave when his contract expires in June.

The 33-year-old has been linked with the likes of PSG and Manchester City, along with a touted switch to the United States, and many believe he is keen to move on.

But speaking to Spanish publication Sport , Laporta stated his belief that Messi actually wants to extend his stay at Barcelona.

Lionel Messi’s future has been the source of a huge amount of speculation

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

“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 more and more happy, 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.”

Joan Laporta is convinced Messi wants to stay
Joan Laporta is convinced Messi wants to stay

With Barcelona in a huge amount of debt, it is not clear if they have the financial ability to keep Messi and continue paying his mammoth wages.

Laporta is the strong favourite to become the club’s next president following the departure of Josep Bartomeu.

Elections were due to take place on January 24 but have been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

In the meantime Messi is free to speak to foreign clubs, and will surely be attracting a huge amount of interest.




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