Laporta: Bartomeu may drive Messi out

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes current president Josep Maria Bartomeu (pictured) must leave the club if Lionel Messi is ‘to continue to be happy’.

Sensational reports emerged in France over the weekend stating Manchester City would be willing to pay the Argentine star’s €300m release clause.

These reports were denied in the Catalan press but after Neymar’s exit to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer, there is a growing sense of unease at the club’s ability to retain star players.

“If we want Messi to continue to be happy here at Barcelona then we need to get rid of Bartomeu immediately,” Laporta wrote on Twitter.

Bartomeu defeated Laporta in the most recent presidential elections at the club in 2015 but the two look set to go head-to-head whenever the current incumbent’s term ends.

Tags Joan Laporta Josep Maria Bartomeu Lionel Messi