Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has made clear that it is his primary goal to keep Lionel Messi at the club.
The Argentine’s contract comes to an end on June 30 and, from January 1, he is free to talk with other clubs, yet Laporta hopes that he can build a team capable of winning the Champions League in order to keep Messi happy.
“We will use all our skills to keep Messi with us,” Laporta told Radio MARCA.
“The sale of Cristiano Ronaldo by Real Madrid had other circumstances; Leo’s case is singular. He would be one of the few players like Pele who has only played for one team.
“Leo is not only focused about money. It will be a good economic proposal, but we will not reach what other clubs can offer.
“I have a very good relationship with Leo. He wants Barcelona. I am convinced that he is looking forward to a proposal from the new president.
“It is going to be based mainly on a competitive squad that can win the Champions League. If I make this proposal, I will fulfil it; I am lucky to have Leo’s credibility.
“Now is not the time to talk about Messi, and for that I have to be president.”
Tuesday saw a giant poster of Laporta erected in Madrid, just 200 metres from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and he gave credit to his campaign manager for the idea.
“It was a campaign move that had its impact,” he explained.
“I have to congratulate the campaign manager; it was his idea. It is addressed to the Barcelona members.
“Madrid is an electoral zone and we had to come. It was a nice move, from the point of view of good faith. It has a point of irony, it is nice”.
It was Laporta that first gave Pep Guardiola his first job in management, but who does he think is better: Pep or Zinedine Zidane?
“For me he is the best coach in the world,” Laporta said of Guardiola.
“Zidane is a great coach and has the strength of all his history as a footballer. I have the impression that he knows how to treat his players. But Pep has a special magic.”
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