Barcelona [Spain], November 30 (ANI): Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta feels that star player Lionel Messi will stay at Camp Nou after announcing his second club presidency bid.
Speculation over Messi's future is raging as he approaches the final six months of his current contract.
The 33-year-old tried to secure a way out in August following a humiliating Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich but saw his exit path blocked by Blaugrana and La Liga officials.
"No one can have any doubt that Messi loves Barcelona, in our relationship we respect and love each other. I have not spoken with him because I think it would not be convenient to speak without having the power to decide, the elections have to pass," Goal.com quoted Laporta as saying.
"I hope to have the confidence of the members to be president and then I'm sure we'll talk but we haven't done it yet. Leo loves Barcelona," he added.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned along with the rest of the board of directors in October after being blamed for the team's recent failings, and elections to appoint his successor are due to take place on January 24.
Laporta, whose first spell in charge between 2003 and 2010 garnered unprecedented success, announced his candidacy for a second term on Monday.
"Messi loves Barcelona, it is something that I know, no one can doubt it, my relationship with him is one of respect and esteem, of affection; I think the best thing for him is to wait and see who wins and what proposal is made to him," he said.
"I hope I can tell you we are more convinced than ever that we have a good sports project, we want to recover all this and do it with Leo in the squad and the other excellent players we have.
"When I talk about motivation I also believe that it is important that joy returns to convince the best player in history, I hope to arrive in time and that any pressure does not prevent this conversation from happening," Laporta added. (ANI)