Barcelona presidential hopeful Victor Font is eager for Lionel Messi to stay at the Nou Camp, according to Toni Nadal.
The long-term future of Barcelona’s talismanic forward has been in major doubt ever since the Catalan’s humiliating 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich last season.
Messi had hoped to end his love affair with the La Liga giants in the summer by exercising a clause in his contract he believed would allow him to leave on a free transfer.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner, however, performed a U-turn when they prospect of a long and drawn-out legal battle with his employers became apparent.
Messi’s current contract with Barcelona – which has a whopping £700million buy-out clause – will expire in the summer.
Font, one of the frontrunners to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu at the presidential helm, is eager to tie Messi down to a new deal, although Nadal – the uncle of Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal – doesn’t see himself playing any role in trying to convince the Argentine to extend his stay with the club.
1. Real Madrid – £1.286bn (£205m fall from 2019)
2. Barcelona – £1.280bn (£18.1m rise)
3. Manchester United – £1.190bn (£143m fall)
4. Liverpool – £1.143bn (£64.3m rise)
5. Manchester City – £1.018bn (£118m fall)
6. Bayern Munich – £957m (£233m fall)
7. Paris Saint-Germain – £876m (£48m rise)
8. Chelsea – £859m (£17m fall)
9. Tottenham Hotspur – £710m (£23.5m rise)
10. Arsenal – £651m (£150m fall)
“I don’t know if I see myself capable, but I would try for sure,” Nadal, who is part of Font’s presidential bid, told Sport.
“I wish they gave me the opportunity to try. I would like to see him win another Champions League with us, winning the Ballon d’Or and I would like him to help us make an exciting project.”
One man who isn’t in Font’s plans is former Barca hitman Neymar, who has been linked with a move back to the Nou Camp ever since his world-record £200million move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017.
“Institutionally, Neymar’s not in my plans,” Font recently told Sport when asked about the prospect of the Brazilian returning to the club.
“For financial reasons and for other reasons, like the lawsuit he has against the club and the fact he left the club in a tricky position days before the season started [in 2017].”
He added: “He would fit in on the sporting side but not on the financial or the institutional side of things.
“But the signings will be in the hands of the sporting directorate, not as they have been made up until now.”
Barcelona will return to action on Saturday night, travelling to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium to take on Atletico Madrid.