Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Farre has claimed that Lionel Messi wants to stay at the club and that, should he win the elections, the Argentine will sign a new contract.
The 33-year-old’s current deal at Camp Nou ends in 2021, with Messi having exclusively revealed to Goal that Barca had previously blocked a move away from the club.
Messi, who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, will be able to discuss a free transfer switch to a foreign club when the January transfer window opens although Farre is convinced that he wants to stay.
He told Onda Cero: “Messi wants to stay at Barca. That’s what I know. His family wants to stay at Barcelona and we’re going to work for it.
“I would go as far to say that if we win the elections, Messi will renew his deal. His renewal would be incurred automatically on January 25 if I win the elections the day previous.”
Farre also gave his thoughts on the possible signing of Neymar and suggested that he would seek to bring back the Paris Saint-Germain striker, who departed the club in 2017, should he be elected.
While the Catalans have been crippled by financial pressures that have seen them slash their wage bill by close to 50 per cent, Farre believes that a deal can be worked out for the Brazilian.
“Neymar’s signing will be cheap because the investment will be greater than the outlay,” he added.
The subject of Neymar’s future has grown increasingly important in Barcelona after he stated that he has a burning desire to play alongside Messi once again, having previously done so during his time at Camp Nou.
The comments subsequently sparked rumours that Messi may move to PSG in the summer, with Brazil international Neymar revealing on Wednesday that he was happy in Paris.
Farre, meanwhile, is one of the outside candidates to win the presidential elections at Barca.
There are five men up for the role, including Joan Laporta, who has held the position between 2003 and 2010.
The other candidates are Victor Font, another one of the front runners, as well as Lluis Fernandez and Agusti Benedito.