BARCELONA

Laporta accuses PSG of "destabilising" Barcelona over Messi talk

Barcelona presidential hopeful Joan Laporta has hit out at PSG for saying that "they plan to sign Messi when we are in the middle of the season."

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Laporta accuses PSG of "destabilising" Barcelona over Messi talk
GUSTAU NACARINO REUTERS

Despite being still only being a Barcelona presidential candidate, Joan Laporta donned the president’s guise to publicly criticise PSG over their pursuit of Lionel Messi, who has been heavily linked with the French club of late.

Last week, PSG sporting director Leonardo said “great players like Messi will always be on PSG’s list”, while the French club’s Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes claimed said the Ligue 1 champions are already working on signing the Barcelona captain.

The comments coming from Paris have not gone down well with Laporta, who accused PSG of “destabilising” Barcelona and claimed the Parc des Princes outfit was not currently in the financial position to be discussing a move for Messi.

“I have read that PSG is posting [financial] losses and we are already talking about whether they can take on these investments,” Laporta told Spain’s national broadcaster, TVE.

“In any case, I would ask them – in the same that we are respectful – that they do not destabilise Barcelona. We haven’t done anything that would prompt them to say that they plan to sign Messi when we are in the middle of the season. I don’t think it’s right.”

Lionel Messi has been heavily linked with a move to PSG.

Laporta on Barcelona presidential bid

Laporta also took the opportunity to argue his case for the Barcelona presidency, recalling that during his first tenure as Barcelona president, bitter rivals “Real Madrid did not win a single Champions League.”

Barcelona have not lifted Europe’s premier trophy since 2015, in which time Madrid have claimed three consecutive titles to bring their total tally to 13. “I hope to reverse the situation and go back to the times when we won the Champions League and they didn’t,” added Laporta.

He also stressed that the Laporta of today is a much-improved version of the one who led the club for seven years from 2003 to 2010.

“I have more experience … I am more prepared, with more composure and self-control to analyse things,” he stated. “I am more prepared, but with the same determination as always.”