Lionel Messi has less than five months left in Barcelona and the club will struggle to keep the Argentine legend if they are unable to win any silverware. One of the most important things that the new club president must do when he is elected on March 7th is to talk with Lionel Messi and try to negotiate an extension with the player. However, Joan Laporta, one of the presidential candidates admitted that it will not be possible to keep the player if the club continues to perform in the way they did against Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain.
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The 33-year-old wanted to leave last year but his move was blocked by the former president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. Since then, the forward’s career has been up for speculation and with Manchester City and PSG closing in on him, it will be tough for the Catalans to keep the player at their club. It would have been possible if Ronald Koeman had a remarkable first season but after a series of great games, Barcelona has once again come crashing down on the greatest stage, the UEFA Champions League.
In an interview with Sky Sports Italia, former president, Laporta, admitted that to keep Messi, the club will have to win trophies as the player does not want monetary gains but wants to add more achievements to his legacy. He said,
“Lionel Messi wants to win with Barcelona, I’ll do my best to keep him, there are some clubs really interested in signing him. Leo wants to win titles, not just to earn money,”
The presidential hopeful also added that Messi was not a burden on the club as he was bringing in 30% of the club’s profit. This was of course an allusion to the leaked contract which made pundits question whether it was healthy for the club to keep the player or not. However, one thing is clear, Messi will have to accept a major wage cut and will also have to wait for a while before the team is back on its feet.
After last night’s match, it is clear that Barcelona are nowhere near what they used to be and it will take some time to rebuild their squad. This is a transitional phase and if Messi stays at the club he must understand that and help the youngsters accordingly. However, if he wants to move away and experience another league in his last few years, the fans should respect his decision.
Will Lionel Messi leave Barca after facing another Champions League defeat?