Juan Laperta, president of Barcelona’s Spanish football club, revealed today, Friday that he is in good discussions with Argentine star Lionel Messi about renewing his contract with the team and that he is preparing to meet with Dutch coach Ronald Koeman again. His future as a team coach
Messi’s current contract with Barcelona expires at the end of next June, but the club are in talks to continue the Argentine star in his place.
Messi was forced to leave the 33-year-old Barcelona but he was forced to continue and he scored goals for the team in 35 games in the Spanish league as Barcelona found out that the season was over, behind third-placed champions Atletico Namadrid and runner-up Real Madrid.
Laporta revealed Messi’s position at a lengthy press conference today, Friday, in which he spoke on a number of issues and confirmed he was close to a new deal.
“Everything is going well about the renewal of Messi’s contract, but things are not settled now,” Laporta said.
He added, “We are working hard, and all the executives we have appointed here are working hard to give him a good offer. We are working to give him an offer that is within our capacity and we expect this player to be acceptable.”
He continued: “I see our relationship is amazing. Messi loves Barcelona … Of course we all want him to continue and we hope he stays with Barcelona.”
Barcelona are expected to sign defender Eric Garcia and striker Sergio Aguero at the signing of the transfer window, following the termination of a two-man deal with Manchester City.
“We want to improve the team now and are working very seriously on that,” Laporta said.
“Next week we’ll talk about new arrivals on the first team. You’ll see results after the work you provide,” he added.
It is unclear whether Koiman will continue to coach the team as part of the new Barcelona project.
The Dutch coach will set a new round of talks with Laporta in the near future, after Komen finished his first season coaching the Catalan team.
Koman and his business manager had met Laporta a few days earlier and held initial talks with him.
“There are no transition sessions at Barcelona. We (the new board of directors) have arrived for the season and we will present our value to the coach at the end of the season and then announce our decisions,” said Laporta.
He added: “We have always worked with great appreciation for Ronald Koeman. Of course we admire him as a player who won the European Cup with us at Vamley and he still has a contract.”
He continued, “We talked to Commons and we will talk to him once important decisions are made.”
Laperta also faced questions about rumors circulating about two of Barcelona’s legendary names, Xavi and Pep Guardiola, and it was rumored that they could be a possible alternative to Commons.
Laporta replied, “With our respect for Coman he has a valid contract and we do not refuse to move forward with the team. We are talking.”