According to Goal, Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font thinks he can persuade disgruntled superstar Lionel Messi to stay at Camp Nou beyond this season.
Messi’s future remains an important subject at embattled La Liga giants, Barca, after he handed in a transfer request following a turbulent 2019-20 campaign.
Before opting to stay in Spain, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was tipped to join Premier League powerhouses Manchester City, although he has since been linked to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.
Font, who is running for the presidential election to be held on 24 January following the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu in October, spoke of the importance of re-signing Messi.
“I’m convinced that with a competitive, exciting and, especially in Messi’s case, long-term project – one that could even go beyond the day that Messi retires – we will convince him to stay,” Font told ESPN.
“Messi is the best player in the history of the No. 1 sport in the world. Imagine what that means.
That is why the Messi-Barca Association is a strategic one and we must do all we can to ensure that the association lives on.
“Keeping in mind he can speak with other clubs in January, phoning Messi [if I win the election] must be one of the priorities.”
Font added: “Messi, above all else, is a person who loves Barca and what he wants is to win.” In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Barca hard financially.
The greatest player in the world and the best of all time must of course, be competitively paid. But I agree that his goals are competing and winning.
“One of the facts that need to be changed is[his salary]. In the near term and for the next season, the amount of income is up in the air. It depends on what happens with fans going back to the stadium.
Based on that we will have to better structure the wage bill. Once the condition is clear to us we will know what the club can afford.
Messi is a fan of Barca and, as we all do, he loves Barca. He’s been here for many years, since he was 13, and I’m sure his passion and affection for the club is more than anything else, regardless of what he needs to do [with his career] to continue winning.
In 10 appearances this season, Messi has scored four La Liga goals, while the 33-year-old has managed seven in all competitions.