Joan Laporta has expressed his expectation that Lionel Messi will see the completion of the new Camp Nou while stressing that if he is re-elected, retaining the Barcelona superstar will be his top priority.
Now that he only has six months left to run on his current deal, speculation about Messi’s future is raging.
The 33-year-old was dead set on leaving Camp Nou in the summer, but after being threatened with legal action by both Barca and La Liga, he ended up changing his decision.
However, before a possible free transfer at the end of the season, he is now free to talk to any potential suitors and has remained vague about his next move while acknowledging that he finds a new challenge an appealing choice in MLS.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City were also mooted as potential next destinations for Messi, who told Goal back in September that because of worries that the team was no longer able to contend for top honors, he lobbied for a move away from Catalunya.
Laporta was the man who back in 2004 gave the Argentine his start at Barca, and later this month he will be up for re-election again, with his main objective to ensure that a talismanic figure sees his playing days in a familiar setting.
Plans for the construction of an upgraded 105,000 capacity Camp Nou have already been drawn up and the project will be completed in four years in time for the club’s 125th-anniversary celebrations.
As the presidential candidate told Target, Laporta wants Messi to be front and center when a new age begins: “I wish we could celebrate the 125th anniversary at the new Camp Nou and with Leo with us. The stadium issue is not easy because it takes two years to build it.”