Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has said he is not yet in the position to discuss contract renewal with the club’s captain, Lionel Messi, after former teammate Neymar said he wants to partner with him again at PSG.
Messi had tendered transfer request during the summer window, but it was turned down by the club as they insisted that he must fulfilled the remaining period of the deal.
Meanwhile, his former teammate Neymar had declared last night that he wants to play with the Argentine talisman again next season more than anything. According to Diario AS, this is believed to have caused another pressure at Barcelona.
Laporta, who was Barca’s president during the reign of Pepe Guardiola said to Catalunya Radio that while he has spoken with Messi they haven’t discussed a possible renewal.
“I have not spoken with him about the renewal,” he said. “I need to have the authority as elected president to be able to do it. Could we renew his deal with the current figures? Sure, there are imaginative solutions that can enable Messi to remain at the club.
“Messi is a priority. All the clubs love him and he makes any club a candidate to win everything, he makes that difference. He’s also highly important on an economic level. Messi loves Barcelona and will help the club if the project is right.”
Why Neymar wants to play alongside Lionel Messi again as Laporta campaigns
After moving from Santos, Neymar enjoyed massive success with Barca which he is yet to enjoy with the Parisien.
During his stint at the Camp Nou outfit, the Brazilian, who has spent the majority of his professional career in Spain formed part of the lethal strike force partnership alongside Messi and Luis Suarez. This led to the formation of Messi-Suarez-Neymar (MSN).
He won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys, one Spanish Super Cup, one Club World Cup and one Champions League at Camp Nou before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a record €200m deal in 2017.
Messi on the other hand appeared to be slowing down as he begins to enter his mid-30s. It took the talisman a few games to get going with his first goal from open play. Last season, he registered 31 goals and 27 assists, from 44 appearances. The season before, Messi recorded 51 goals and contributed 20 assists from 50 games.
Having served as the club President between 2003 and 2010, overseeing the construction of one of the greatest club teams in football history alongside Pep Guardiola, Laporta and his team have positioned themselves as a group of Barcelonistes who understand the feeling of the club better than most.
Their aim is to return the club to its fundamental value of prioritising social and human values as well as economic and sporting ambitions.
The presidential election hold on January 20. 2020.