Lionel Messi: New Barcelona president vows to keep star
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Lionel Messi could still stay at Barcelona. And reports claim the Catalan giants’ new president, Joan Laporta, is planning two signings to persuade the 33-year-old to stay put. Manchester City and PSG still want the Argentina international, who will become a free agent when the transfer window reopens at the end of the campaign.
Messi has been, typically, a shining light for Barcelona this season.
The 33-year-old wanted to leave in the summer transfer window but, ultimately, wasn’t granted his wish and was consequently forced to stay put.
Manchester City and PSG are both dreaming of securing the Argentina international’s signature at the end of the campaign, with Messi continuing to show no signs of slowing down.
Yet OKDiario claim new Barcelona president Laporta wants two signings to keep the club’s skipper at the Nou Camp.
He reportedly feels Sergio Aguero could see Messi stay.
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Aguero’s time at Manchester City appears to be winding down, with the Argentina international struggling for regular action this term.
And Barcelona feel Aguero, who is close to Messi, could help his compatriot commit to another contract extension.
Laporta also knows the Catalan titans need more if they’re to re-establish themselves as one of the best teams on the planet.
And, for that reason, the Barcelona supremo is eager to secure the signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
The coronavirus crisis will impact the La Liga giants’ spending this summer but Haaland is on Laporta’s radar nonetheless.
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Barcelona are still yet to replace Luis Suarez, who was allowed to join Atletico Madrid in 2020.
Yet signing Haaland certainly won’t be easy with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea also in the hunt for the Norway international.
United want him as a replacement for Edinson Cavani, while also believing Haaland to be an upgrade on the likes of Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
Real Madrid’s preference right now is PSG’s Kylian Mbappe but, if that move fails to materialise, Haaland could be an alternative.
And Chelsea want the 20-year-old having seen the likes of Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner blow hot and cold over the course of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Laporta recently admitted he’d love to keep Messi at the club.
“In our first spell we had the best players in Barca history, but if we were successful it was because we had stability,” Laporta explained.
“It is Barcelona’s unity which gives you stability and I invite everyone at Barcelona to think about what they can do for Barca.
“I am here to make decisions, like convincing Leo to carry on, taking advantage of the fact that he is here. He knows that.
“You know the affection I hold for you and we will do whatever it takes to keep you here. You know you cannot leave, Leo.
“We will not be able to do it alone. As our anthem says, we are strong all together. More so in these most difficult times. We know how to do it.
“When the pandemic is over our revenue will return. That will be fixed. There will be strong leadership, because I am well-accompanied. We will make decisions. To defend the club you have to live and breathe it and we do that as much as possible.”
Messi is expected to feature when Barcelona face off against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
They’ll go into that match on a high after beating Huesca 4-1 last time out.
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