Lionel Messi’s future at Barcelona remains uncertain but there is optimism following the inauguration of Joan Laporta as the new club president. Laporta will take over the duties from Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned last year, and one of the major questions in front of him will be the renewal of the Argentine superstar, whose contract ends at the end of the current season. Joan Laporta Makes a Direct Plea to Lionel Messi While Taking Over Presidential Duties For Barcelona.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Joan Laporta has a plan to convince Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona and lead their new era. The Argentine has been with Barcelona since 2000, rising through their youth ranks and leading them to several triumphs both domestically and in Europe but wanted to leave in the summer.

It is understood that Joan Laporta wants to offer Lionel Messi a new contract which will see the Argentine reduce his current wages at the club but the new president wants to counter-balance that by implementing a lifetime deal for the Barcelona skipper.

The reduction in Lionel Messi’s salary is expected to serve as an example to the rest of the squad that the club need to tighten their belt amid the rising debt during the coronavirus pandemic, while simultaneously integrating the Argentine into the structure of the club whenever he decides to retire.

Lionel Messi expressed his desire to leave the club in the summer but eventually decided to see out his contract which ends in June 2021. However, in recent months the Argentine has looked happier with the team than he was a few months back but is yet to make a concrete decision about his future, which is expected when he meets with the new resident.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 18, 2021 07:09 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).