Joan Laporta, a candidate to become the club’s new president, 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.”
Neymar has spent the majority of his professional career in Spain with Barcelona, where he formed part of the lethal MSN strike force alongside Messi and Luis Suarez.
He joined the Catalans in 2013 from Santos and 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, despite evidently slowing down as he begins to enter his mid-30s, registered 31 goals and 27 assists last season, from 44 appearances. The season before he scored 51 goals and contributed 20 assists from 50 games.
Laporta previously served as 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, and that they will endeavour to return the club to its fundamental value of prioritising social and human values as well as economic and sporting ambitions.
They also intend on placing renewed emphasis on La Masia and Barcelona’s responsibility of projecting Catalonia to the world, as well as increasing economic responsibility and sporting ambition according to his campaign website.
Featured image courtesy of Eurosport.