The presidential candidate remains hopeful of getting Messi to sign a new deal
Joan Laporta spoke to Sky Sport Italis to analyse the upcoming presidential election at Barcelona. With March 7 around the corner, the race for the top job at Camp Nou is heating up. Laporta, Barça president between 2003 and 2010, knows Lionel Messi's contract renewal is a big issue for voters and he affirmed: "I will do everything possible for Messi to stay."
After the disappointing defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday, 1-4 at Camp Nou, Messi will need more than just money to persuade him to stay: "Messi should be valued with the affection he deserved and with a suitable financial package, but it's not about money. He needs a winning sporting proposal, Leo wants to win again with Barcelona."
PSG are among the clubs interested in the Argentine star, who is free to leave on June 30 when his contract ends if he doesn't renew, although Laporta's hopeful of convincing him: "I know him well, I have a good personal relationship with him. He is not someone that is here for the money. He will need a competitive sporting offer because he's a winner."
The candidate for the presidency affirmed that Messi's contract, leaked to El Mundo this month, is not a problem for the Catalan club's debt.
"The cost of Messi around eight percent of the total, but he generated 30 percent of the revenue. Leo is very valuable for Barcelona, what he generates for the club is very important. He brings in more money than he costs.
"The love story between Messi and Barcelona is one of the most beautiful in the history of football. There's no price for asking a little boy or girl who is the best player in the world and hearing Messi as their immediate reaction."
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