LIONEL MESSI MAKES LIST OF DEMANDS TO BARCELONA PRESIDENT JOAN LAPORTA OVER CONTRACT RENEWAL
Lionel Messi is open to the idea of committing his future to Barcelona. However, as reported by Eurosport Spain’s Fermín de la Calle, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has given new president Joan Laporta a list of demands he expects to be met before he will sign a new contract.
The Barcelona captain will be a free agent on July 1 2020 and the 33-year-old submitted a request to leave the club last summer. After having seen that request denied, he looked certain to leave this close season.
However, after a sluggish start to the season, results – and performances – under Ronald Koeman have picked up. Meanwhile, Josep Bartomeu resigned and has been replaced by Joan Laporta, who won the recent presidential elections on a ticket of convincing Messi to stay at the club.
The Argentine is already free to discuss a move with foreign clubs but it has been reported that he is now favouring remaining at the Camp Nou. However, before he would consider signing a new contract, the forward expects the following commitments from Laporta.
A COMPETITIVE SQUAD WITH A SENSIBLE, STRUCTURED TRANSFER PLAN
The financial reality is that Barcelona cannot spend with abandon. However, Messi expects astute signings – Eric Garcia on a free from Manchester City falls into this category – and at least one marquee signing.
Reports emerged on Thursday that Erling Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, and his agent, Mino Raiola, had arrived in Barcelona to discuss a potential move. Messi sees a marquee signing as crucial to the club returning to the summit of European football.
A RENEWED RELIANCE ON YOUTH
Messi, the report adds, expects the club to have renewed trust in youth. The La Masia alumni has built a chemistry with Ansu Fati, Pedri and Ilaix Moriba and enjoys helping these players to develop.
Therefore, he expects the club to maintain their trust in youth, and to build around them.
OPEN COMMUNICATION WITH KOEMAN AND THE CLUB HIERARCHY
Messi has found previous coaches – namely Luis Enrique and Quique Setien – either unapproachable or draconian and has been appreciative of the reciprocal relationship he has thus far enjoyed with Dutch coach Koeman.
However, Messi would like this arrangement extended to technical secretary Ramón Planes.
Despite the harmonious relationship Messi currently enjoys with Koeman, the club captain would like to retain a direct line of communication with the club’s president, who ran on a ticket of getting Messi to renew his contract.