Victor Font is one of the candidates best placed to take over as the new president in the elections on January 24.
The Catalan spoke on Cadena COPE about the state of the club.
"I have not spoken with Messi, but with his people," said Font. "They will listen to us and read our intentions. What we are most concerned about is making Messi know that our project is to make a competitive team in which he feels comfortable, and it's essential that he continues.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, we have elections soon and in a few weeks Messi and his people will know what will happen. For us the relationship between Messi and Barca goes beyond the years he has left. It's a strategic relationship and we have to make sure his role goes beyond the day that he retires.
"You don't have to go with PowerPoints to Messi. You have to explain to him the institutional project. And in the sporting front the one who's best placed to convince him is someone like Xavi. Messi knows him perfectly and believes in his capabilities.
"Messi is irreplaceable at Barca, there's nobody who can take his place at the club. We have to try and keep him here, see the talent of the team and how we can reinforce it."
Font also said that he will not ask Xavi to be "exclusive to our project. Laporta could come out nad say he wants Xavi to be his coach, but he can't say he has spent five years working and configuring the football project with Xavi."
Font said the club could not make big signings. "The situation of the club has never been like this, with the pandemic putting it in a critical state, as the board recognised. Now having a project and a team is more important than ever.
"This time for the situation, whoever comes with super-signings like Mbappe and Neymar is not making a very credible proposal.
"At the end of the summer there was 400m euros in debt and no liquidity, they couldn't sign Eric Garcia, who was an urgent need and someone the coach asked for. He also asked for Depay, whom they could not bring, and now La Liga has set out the salary limits and Barcelona's is hugely reduced."
He gave Koeman some praise. "Now more than ever you have to bet on the people from here and Koeman's doing it well with Ansu and Pedri. I made a mistake with such strong statements (previously about the coach). What I wanted to stay was that we have gone for a long time working on a project and the moment has come not to be short-termist."