Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta wants Lionel Messi to stay at the club.
Laporta has reportedly emerged as the frontrunner to win the upcoming election, scheduled for January 24.
He was president of the club between 2003 and 2010 and is eyeing a return as Josep Maria Bartomeu’s successor.
The future of Messi is the most important talking point among all the candidates for the position.
The Argentina international tried to leave Barcelona (opens in new tab) last summer and could be coming towards the end of his career at the Camp Nou.
Messi is out of contract in June and has yet to make a decision on his future, but Laporta has vowed to do everything he can to keep Barcelona’s greatest ever player at the club.
"I wish we could celebrate the 125th anniversary at the new Camp Nou and with Leo with us. The issue of the stadium is not easy because it takes two years to build it,” he told Goal (opens in new tab).
"The issue of Leo is easier than the stadium. It would be very nice to get to this anniversary with Messi, it would be good final fireworks."
Laporta also believes he is best placed to persuade Messi that his time at Barcelona is not over yet.
“Because I tell the truth, I am the one with the most experience and determination, as well as the most credibility in his eyes,” he added. “It fills me with pride that he tells me that everything I told him was fulfilled.
"This gives me a position and, if I am president of Barcelona, and that is one of the reasons, I will see what I can offer him within the possibilities of the club in terms of finances and in what interests Leo from a sporting perspective.
"He wants to win the Champions League again with Barca and we have to make him see that this will be possible."
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