- Laporta said he hoped Messi would have agreed to play for Barcelona for free
- Messi, 34, signed a two year deal with PSG in August after a salary cap disabled Barcelona from renewing his contract
- Had Messi agreed to play for the club without a salary, the club would have been able to re-sign him
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Barcelona President Joan Laporta has sensationally claimed he had hoped Lionel Messi would have eventually settled to play for the club for free in the wake of the Argentine’s sensational exit.
Messi in August ended a 21-year old association with Barcelona as he completed a move to Paris Saint Germain on a free transfer upon expiry of his contract at Barcelona.
It was reported that Barcelona were enduring a difficult financial spell and a La Liga salary cap disabled the club from renewing Messi’s contract.
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While speaking to radio station RAC1, Laporta opened up on the transfer
"He wanted to stay but they also had a lot of pressure because of the offer they had.” Laporta said as quoted by Sky Sports.
"I hoped Messi would do a U-turn and he would say he would play for free,” he went on.
"I would have liked that and I would have been all for it. It is my understanding La Liga would have accepted it. But we cannot ask a player of Messi's stature to do this."
Laporta also broke down what he meant in August when he suggested the club would have endured 50 years of misery if they tried to force a move that would have seen Messi stay.
He said La Liga was willing to allow the club to re-sign Messi but they would have to agree a deal with investment fund CVC Capital, which would have seen the club give up part of its commercial rights for the next 50 years.
"We do not need more debt," said Laporta. "I understand La Liga clubs are suffering. We have not ruled ourselves out of this operation but they have to change it. They are trying to reformulate the deal."
Barcelona to play away from Nou Camp
Laporta also confirmed Barcelona would have to play away from their beloved Nou Camp for up to a year.
The President confirmed the stadium would undergo an overdue overhaul in the summer of 2022, and the works would take up to three or four years.
However, the team would only need to find a new home for the next 12 months.
As at now, the Johan Cruyff Stadium remains their most likely next destination, at least for a year.
Paraguayan fans storm pitch, demand 1 stunning thing from Messi as police rush in
Briefly News reported earlier that Lionel Messi and his teammates in the Argentina national team on Thursday night, October 7, stretched their unbeaten run to 23 despite been forced to goalless by Paraguay.
The encounter was a World Cup qualifying game as Lionel Messi failed to score for his nation as the Paris Saint-Germain star's wings were clipped.
Argentina were without Lautaro Martinez in attack and with Lionel Messi quieter than usual the game lacked excitement, especially in the first half.
Even though they were unable to score, Argentina had their ways in the first half with the hosts unable to take control of the possession.
But in the second half, Paraguay came out hard against Argentina and fired many shots at goalkeeper Martinez who was in great form.
Source: Briefly News