Lionel Messi will do “everything in his power” to stay at Barcelona, according to presidential candidate Joan Laporta.
The Argentina international’s future is up in the air as he edges closer to the end of his contract.
Messi will become a free agent this summer and could even sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs before the end of the season.
Barcelona dug in their heels and ultimately managed to keep hold of their greatest ever player, but Messi has the freedom to depart ahead of next term should he so desire.
However, Laporta believes the 33-year-old will still be playing his football at the Camp Nou next season.
"I do not know if he will be playing on Sunday [in the Supercopa de Espana final against Athletic Bilbao] but he will be on the bench and it is important that Leo encourage his team-mates.
"I see him more and more happy, he is enjoying it. I know that he wants to stay and I know that he will do everything in his power to stay as long as the club can offer him an offer that suits him."
Barcelona’s presidential election was due to take place on January 24 before being postponed earlier this week due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Laporta, who held the position between 2003 and 2010, is competing with Victor Font and Toni Freixa to be Josep Maria Bartomeu’s permanent successor.
Sorting out Messi’s future will be at the top of the agenda for all three candidates.
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