Football Club Barcelona president Joan Laporta on Friday said that he was “moderately optimistic” about the club’s talisman Lionel Messi staying with the team for the next season. But he added that manager Ronald Koeman’s future with the club was not certain, reports AFP.
Messi’s current contract expires this summer, which would allow the Argentinian to leave the club for the next season for free. Laporta confessed that in spite of the talks with the forward “going well”, Barcelona’s offer would be marred by the club’s financial problems, reports AFP.
“We can make an offer within our means,” said Laporta in his first press conference after being elected as president in March. “He deserves more and could get a better contract somewhere else but I’m convinced he appreciates the efforts we are making. I think he is keen to stay. For Leo, it’s not about money, it’s about winning. And that’s what we are working on”, quoted AFP.
When asked how optimistic he was that Messi would stay, Laporta answered, “Moderately optimistic”. He added, “The new contract is going well but it’s not done yet”. Laporta has also been in talks with Koeman about his future with the club after an under-par end to the season, reports AFP.
Koeman has a year left on his contract after only being appointed last year. “We’ve always worked with great respect for Koeman,” said Laporta. “He still has a contract in place. We don’t believe in transitional projects or seasons. We spoke to Koeman and we will continue to talk to him next week before making a decision”, quoted AFP.