As new developments constantly unfold in Barcelona’s institutional crisis, a bold claim has emerged from the mouth of presidential candidate Joan Laporta.
Laporta made the claim during a debate in which candidates Toni Freixa and Victor Font were also present, but only he took on the topic of Lionel Messi’s future at the club.
“I have a great relationship with Leo [Messi] and he will consider whatever proposal I make,” said Laporta.
“If I don’t win, I am sure that Leo will not stay at Barcelona.”
The lawyer was keen to get this message home to voters and repeated on several occasions his view that only his presidency could tempt Messi to stay.
“Messi will weight up the offer we make him,” said Laporta.
“I’m convinced that if the other candidates win, Messi will not remain at Barcelona.
“He wasn’t happy during Freixa’s time on the board.”
Laporta knows Messi will be a key theme in the elections on March 7 and he claims that the Argentine is not solely concerned with money.
“He’s not guided just by money,” added Laporta.
“He wants a competitive team to win.
“I’m sure he’ll listen to my offer, just as I am [sure] that if someone else wins he will leave.”