Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporte has revealed he sent a text message to Lionel Messi after details of the Argentinean star’s contract were leaked.
On Sunday, Spanish publication El Mundo published figures from the six-time Ballon d’Or’s deal, which is worth a staggering £491million.
The Catalan giants duly confirmed the veracity of the document in question as they threatened to take “appropriate legal action” while denying any responsibility for the leak.
And speaking on the program El Mon a RAC1, Laporta, who is in the frame to replace Josep Bartomeu as Barca president, said he had been in touch with Messi to offer his support.
“Yesterday I sent him a message and encouraged him, I told him that he does not have to pay attention to this news,” he said.
“We all want him to stay here and I will do my best to keep it going. I have indications that he is fine in Barcelona, that he wants to stay here, but what he needs is a project from a team that continues to be competitive and wins the Champions League.”
He also stated his belief that Messi is not the cause of Barcelona’s bleak financial problems despite his staggering earnings at the Nou Camp.
“Messi generates more income than the money he costs,” he added.
“In our candidacy there is a study that shows that Messi generates a third of Barça’s income. Messi has not ruined the club, but a board of directors that has lost financial discipline since 2015 and lost its sense since it sold Neymar in 2017.”
Messi’s future is still very much up in the air, with his contract set to expire in June.
He has been linked with the likes of PSG and Manchester City, while a move to the United States is also possible.