‘Every night I have sweet dreams of Messi’ – Laporta issues Leo update

Robin Bairner
Lionel Messi, Barcelona, 2020/21

Lionel Messi is desperate to remain with Barcelona, president Joan Laporta has affirmed.

The icon, who is Barca’s record goal scorer and a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, has been out of contract since 30 June.

Although there is an agreement in place that will allow Messi to remain at the club at reduced wages on a five-year deal, Barca are struggling to fit him into the salary cap imposed by La Liga.

They are desperately fighting to offload players, with the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti having rejected the chance to tear up their contracts, while a deal with Atletico Madrid that would have seen Antoine Griezmann moved on has stalled.

Laporta, though, is optimistic that Messi’s desire to stay with the club will allow something to be thrashed out.

“I know that Leo wants to stay and I really value this fact. That the best player in the world wants to stay, I appreciate it. Everything is well underway. Every night I have sweet dreams when I think of Leo Messi. I hope they continue,” he said.

Laporta on Barca’s transfer dealings

We have encountered significant obstacles
- Joan Laporta

Laporta admits that this has been an especially hard summer, with Barca’s hands tied financially, forcing them into the market to sign free agents such as Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay, as well as bargain additions like Emerson Royal.

“We have encountered significant obstacles,” he admitted. “With the additions and those who have come up from the cantera, we are making a very competitive team. We will see if we can do some more reinforcement.”

Barcelona will continue their pre-season tour of Germany with a fixture against RB Salzburg on Wednesday, having overcome Stuttgart 3-0 on Saturday thanks to goals from Memphis Depay, Yusuf Demir and Riqui Puig.