Barcelona president Joan Laporta has expressed confidence that the club can compete with Saudi Arabia’s offer for Lionel Messi, despite the financial disparity between the two parties.
Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Messi, who will turn 36 in June, will depart Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent when his contract expires this summer.
Sources have revealed that an offer has been made to the Argentine superstar from Saudi Arabia, while Major League Soccer side Inter Miami has also shown interest.
Barca Remains Messi’s Home
Addressing the situation, Laporta made it clear that Barcelona is Messi’s home and highlighted the club’s ability to compete with any rival.
Speaking to TV3 after Barcelona secured their 27th LaLiga title on Sunday, Laporta emphasized, “With all due respect to Saudi Arabia, where a lot of good work and investment is taking place around the league there, Barca is Barca.
The history this club has and the feeling of our 400 million supporters is so strong.”
Economic Limitations and Viability Plan
Despite acknowledging Barcelona’s financial limitations compared to the potential earning power of a move to the Middle East, Laporta expressed hope that LaLiga, with its strict financial fair play regulations, would allow the club to make necessary signings during the upcoming summer transfer window.
While the club is currently following an austerity plan, Laporta assured fans that efforts are being made to construct a competitive team for the forthcoming season.
The club’s viability plan is pending approval from LaLiga.
Rebuilding the Relationship with Messi
One obstacle in Messi’s potential return to Barcelona was believed to be his strained relationship with Laporta, which had deteriorated when the Argentine departed for PSG in 2021.
However, Laporta disclosed that he recently had a positive conversation with Messi to mend their bond. Laporta said, “I have spoken with him recently to rectify the situation after I had to put the club before everything, even him, the best player in the world.
It was a pleasant conversation. We have recovered the relationship we have had for many years.”
Mixed Reactions to Messi’s Treatment in Paris
Laporta also expressed his disappointment over Messi’s treatment by PSG fans, who jeered him following his recent suspension by the French club for an unauthorized commercial trip to Saudi Arabia.
This stands in stark contrast to the enduring affection and support Messi continues to receive from Barcelona fans.
As supporters gathered at Canaletes, a traditional celebration spot in Barcelona, chants of Messi’s name echoed through the streets, underscoring the ongoing bond between the player and the club.
In conclusion, Barcelona president Joan Laporta remains resolute in his belief that the club can rival the financial offer from Saudi Arabia to retain the services of Lionel Messi.
Despite economic constraints, Laporta is optimistic about Barcelona’s ability to build a competitive team for the upcoming season, pending approval of their viability plan by LaLiga. Laporta’s efforts to mend his relationship with Messi signify the club’s determination to bring their iconic player back home.
Meanwhile, Barcelona fans continue to display unwavering support for Messi, with celebrations and chants commemorating his immense contributions to the club.