Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona is NOT resolved by Joan Laporta’s re-election with out-of-contract Argentine to make decision on next move at the end of the season amid interest from Man City and PSG
- Lionel Messi finds himself out of contract at Barcelona at the end of the season
- The Argentine voted for Joan Laporta in the recent club presidential election
- But Sportsmail understands Laporta’s victory has not altered Messi’s future plan
- Messi, of interest to Man City and PSG, will still make a decision in the summer
The 33-year-old congratulated Joan Laporta on winning the club presidency on Monday but Sportsmail understands that turn of events has not changed Messi’s plans.
Messi voted in the election having been critical of the previous regime under Josep Maria Bartomeu, who he accused of going back on his word last summer when the Barcelona talisman announced his desire to leave.
Lionel Messi voting in club elections for the first time in his Barca career was a huge statement
Joan Laporta’s election as Barcelona president has not altered Messi’s contract situation
Laporta told reporters on Monday that he is convinced Messi would like to stay yet the brilliant Argentine remains torn and will make his decision at the end of the season.
Interest remains from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain though Messi, his father Jorge and representatives are not in talks with any suitors at the moment.
They remain open minded to both options with sources close to the player saying he is ’50/50 whether to stay at Barcelona at this stage’.
Laporta wants to build a competitive team that can help Messi challenge for honours (pictured together in 2010) but the Argentine is committed to making a decision at the end of the season
Though Messi would be on a free transfer, his wages are considerable and that would be an obstacle for any club particularly under the current climate and absence of crowd revenue.
Barcelona are crippled by debt and Messi is their biggest earner on wages reported to be around £77million a year.
Messi, who has won the Ballon d’Or six times, has helped Barcelona to 23 major trophies including 10 LaLiga’s, four Champions Leagues, six Copa del Rey’s and three Club World Cups during a stellar career.
Laporta, who previously served as president between 2003 and 2010, is determined to make his promise a reality and tie Messi down to a new contract after winning the election by a huge margin.
Messi wanted to go last summer but now his relationship with Ronald Koeman is growing
Speaking after his victory on Sunday night, Laporta said: ‘Seeing Lionel Messi coming to vote today, seeing him taking part, that is very telling. Twenty years ago [he] made his debut with Barca’s youth team.