Barcelona transfer news: Presidential candidate will do “everything possible” to keep Lionel Messi

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has pledged to do everything in his power to keep Lionel Messi at the club.

The Argentina international is out of contract this summer and has yet to make a decision on his future.

Manchester City and PSG are thought to be leading the race to sign Messi, who has spent his entire career to date at the Camp Nou.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner tried to leave Barcelona last summer, only to be denied a move by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The Catalan club are now on the lookout for a permanent successor to Bartomeu, with the election scheduled for March 7.

Laporta will be one of the names on the ballot paper, as the 58-year-old looks to return to the role he served in between 2003 and 2010.

As speculation about Messi’s future abounds, Laporta insists it is his priority to keep the Argentine at the club.

“I will do everything possible for Messi to stay,” he told Sky Italia.

“Messi should be valued with the affection he deserved and with a suitable financial package, but it’s not about money. He needs a winning sporting proposal, Leo wants to win again with Barcelona.

“I know him well, I have a good personal relationship with him. He is not someone that is here for the money. He will need a competitive sporting offer because he’s a winner.”

Barcelona suffered a 4-1 defeat by PSG in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

A failure to progress to the quarter-finals could help to convince Messi to seek pastures new.

Barcelona are also trailing Atletico Madrid in the La Liga title race, with Diego Simeone’s side nine points clear of Ronald Koeman’s men.

Messi has scored 20 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions so far this term.

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