KEY POINTS

  • Neymar wants to reunite with Lionel Messi next season
  • Joan Laporta thinks he can make Messi stay if he becomes Barcelona's new president
  • Ronald Koeman is tired of hearing comments about the Barca captain's situation

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta weighed in on Lionel Messi’s situation after Neymar asked his former teammate to join him in France next season.

Messi’s possible Barcelona exit is one of the biggest issues the club is set to face when the season ends. While things haven’t settled yet at Camp Nou, former Barca superstar Neymar has opened the doors of Paris Saint-Germain for Messi.

Neymar and Messi have proven that they can win together during their time with the Catalans, and the latter has been vocal about his desire to leave. However, Laporta is confident that once he becomes the new Barcelona president, he can convince the Argentine to stay.

“It is normal for Neymar to say it because they are friends,” Laporta recently told Spanish outlet AS. “I talk to him [Messi] regularly, we have been in contact, but I haven't talked to him for a long time about his renewal, I need to have the authority as the club’s president to make him a proposal that he can fulfill.”

The 58-year-old lawyer also thinks that Messi will listen to what the new Barca president will say about his future.

“Messi knows that I keep my promises,” he pointed out. “Messi makes a difference sportingly and economically, because it generates a lot to have him. We will make you imaginative proposals. I trust he will wait for a new president to decide for his future. The Barça-Leo relationship has to be a beautiful story as it has been so far.”

Neymar, Lionel Messi Neymar and Lionel Messi celebrate after the Brazilian's goal against Paris Saint-Germain. Photo: Reuters

Laporta, who was the president of Barcelona from 2003 to 2010, has recently been speaking to the media regarding the club’s issues. He previously stated that forming “a good team” could make Messi stay as he knows how passionate the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is about winning.

“Messi loves Barca and I'm sure he can give the club a chance,” the former Barca president explained. “I will be able to, at the right time, have a conversation with him and help him make the right decision. To keep the best player of all time happy, you have to have a good team.”

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, on the other hand, has grown tired of hearing comments about Messi’s situation. However, the Dutchman hinted that he’s open to having Neymar back at Camp Nou.

“We know the situation with Leo [Messi],” Koeman said in a news conference Friday. “If there is someone who can say, it is Leo himself, the comments from outside do not interest me.”

“I don't like to talk about individual cases, but as a cule [a Barcelona fanatic] you want to see the best in your team,” he said of Neymar.