FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been vocal these last few days over the Spanish club’s pursuit of Lionel Messi. The Argentine’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires on June 30 and the Catalan side wants to reunite.
Despite Barcelona clinching the 2022-23 La Liga title, the Messi conversation was front and center. Laporta spoke on a TV3 program (h/t Mundo Deportivo) and revealed behind the scene conversations with the veteran.
“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect a situation that occurred where I had to put the institution above everything, even him, the best player in the world,” Laporta said. “It was a very affectionate and pleasant conversation; we’ve sent messages lately. I congratulated him on the World Cup; he’s back, we’ve known each other for years, he’s been 14 years old, [and] there’s a relationship.
“We do not want to enter these [financial] figures because it would be going back and finding the situation we are in again, and I do not want it to happen again; they are figures that we do not think that we have to face, not speaking of Messi alone but of any player.
“Messi loves Barça; let no one doubt it. Barça feels like his home … it would do a bad favor to talk about these issues about Leo because he belongs to PSG, we have to wait until the end of the season and then we can talk quietly.”
Messi doesn’t appear to be remaining with PSG, especially after the latest whistling that the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner endured from some fans during the match against AC Ajaccio on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.
However, Barcelona does face competition for Messi. Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal has been reportedly in the mix for the PSG star; even their club president had to put a lid on the rumors.
Meanwhile, MLS side Inter Miami already has their supporters chanting “Messi!” at their stadium. So these next few weeks should be interesting leading up to when Messi officially becomes a free agent.