The 33-year-old could leave for free at the end of the month but the Camp Nou boss insists he will stay at least a year more
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said Lionel Messi wants to stay at the club and only financial regulations prevent them from announcing a new contract.
The Argentina star can leave Camp Nou at the end of the month when his contract expires, and the club have tried to sign him into an extension.
Messi wanted to leave last year and tried to exercise a release clause in his contract, but decided to stay because he didn’t want a legal battle with Barcelona.
What was said?
Laporta says the 33-year-old has been convinced to stay at Barca and they want to make a deal “as soon as possible”.
“Leo Messi’s shoes will continue on the Camp Nou pitch. He wants to stay. I’m not considering a no. It’s not easy. We will do what we can,” Laporta mentionned. “There is no need to seduce him, he is determined if there is a series of circumstances to stay.”
He added, “He’s fine but he hasn’t signed yet. Kun Aguero says to him every day, ‘Sign this, we’ll play together’.”
What is holding up the case?
Laporta claim Barca have been unable to confirm a deal so far as they need to balance the books to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
The president admits they will have to sell some players to make sure they can keep Messi.
“In economic terms he made it very easy, but financial fair play is another battleground,” he said. “We have to follow the rules, we will follow them. There will be more sales and loans. Without paying transfer fees. We will do a lot of loans, because we have a very high sports payroll compared to other clubs.”
How did Messi perform last season?
Despite Barcelona having had a disappointing 2020-21 season, Messi was once again La Liga’s top scorer. He has scored 30 goals in 35 league appearances, seven more than his closest challenger Gerard Moreno.
He has also scored five times in the Champions League and three in the Copa del Rey – the only competition they won last season.