Lionel Messi: Laporta ‘convinced’ superstar will remain at Barcelona

Robin Bairner
Lionel Messi: Laporta ‘convinced’ superstar will remain at Barcelona

Lionel Messi’s long-term future is at Barcelona, according to president Joan Laporta, who says he is “convinced” that the Argentina legend will sign a new deal with the Catalans.

Messi’s future has been the subject of conjecture since last summer, when a spectacular fall out with the old board led to him pushing to leave.

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Since Laporta won the presidential election in March, there has been greater optimism that Messi will be persuaded to extend his stay with the team at which he has played his whole career.

However, there remain doubts due to Barcelona’s wretched financial situation and the extravagant wages that Messi commands.

Laporta, however, is upbeat about the situation and told Deportes Cuatro: “Everything is progressing adequately.

“I will do everything within the club’s capabilities to get him to stay. That’s what we’re doing. Messi is motivated.

“He is an extraordinary person and I am convinced that he will want to continue at Barca.”

Where will Messi play next season?

Meanwhile, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are the two clubs most closely associated with a move for Messi, who is available on a free transfer in the summer and can presently talk to clubs about his future.

Messi, though, has been adamant that he will decide where he will play next season only at the end of the present campaign.

It is thought that the Argentine wants assurances that Barcelona will be competitive next season, having been knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage.

Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman’s men are third in La Liga, two points off the pace of leaders Atletico Madrid, having suffered a 2-1 defeat in El Clasico to Real Madrid last weekend.

Laporta has always maintained a bullish stance over Messi’s future at Barcelona, with these present developments not representing a move away from the party line.