Joan Laporta, former president of Barcelona, has revealed he’s “scared” star player Lionel Messi might leave the club because of the new board members who govern the club’s affairs.
Messi is signed at Camp Nou until 2021, although there have been indications that he has problems with Barca’s new president Josep Maria Bartomeu and other members of the board, with more rumors suggesting that Argentina is contemplating its future at the club for which it has been playing since the age of 12 years.
Recently, Bartomeu said Messi should re-sign and potentially see his career in Barcelona, but Laporta noted that the current members of the board could drive their star into a corner and make him rethink his future.
“I want him to stay in 2021 but I am scared that a bad decision of this board could result in an irreversible decision,” Laporta said of Messi at an event at Sant Joan de Deu hospital on Wednesday.
“It’s not BarcaGate, it’s BartoGate, I am worried about how the status of the club is being put at risk.”
Laporta, who wants to run for president of Barcelona again, has also cautioned club legend Xavi against returning to manage the club before new members of the board are voted in.
“If I were Xavi, this board would never have me back,” Laporta said.
“I have more motivation to vote in the election every day. It takes some clear criteria for me to feel confident running right now rather than fighting for a few more years.”
Speaking in May, Laporta revealed that he would love to bring back Pep Guardiola and run the club.
“I am trying to pose myself as a candidate for the presidency,” Laporta told TV3.
“I’ve been President before so I’m ready to be back. It’s going to be a drastic situation in 2021 so we’re going to have to change that. I’m working with people I trust.
“I ‘d really like to see Guardiola come back, but now he’s in City and it’s a decision that Pep can make. He’s a model for Barcelona and many Catalans want him to train Barca again.
“I’ll be speaking to the guy we think will be Barca coach from 2021 at the right time.”