Football

Laporta gives Messi contract update and claims Barcelona are happy with Griezmann



The Camp Nou chief is still confident of re-signing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner in time for the start of the new season

Joan Laporta has offered an update on Lionel Messi’s contract, while claiming Barcelona are happy with Antoine Griezmann amid ongoing transfer rumours.

Messi became a free agent when his contract at Camp Nou expired on June 30, but Goal has since reported the 32-year-old has reached an agreement with Barca over a new five-year deal.

An official announcement is expected imminently, and Laporta has now confirmed “everything is on the right track” for the Argentine to be re-registered with the club for the start of the 2021-22 season.

What has been said?

“We are in the process of getting Messi to stay. He wants to stay at Barca and we have to make sure that happens” Laporta told Barca’s official media channel at the presentation of summer signing Emerson Royal on Monday.

“We all want Messi in La Liga because he is a world-class player, the best in the world, and he clearly helps to promote the league. I know Leo wants to stay and appreciate that highly. Everything is very much on the right track.”

What’s the situation with Griezmann?

Goal understands Griezmann is one of several first-team stars currently up for sale as Barca continue to try and reduce their wage bill, and it has been reported Atletico Madrid are interested in bringing him back to Wanda Metropolitano in a potential exchange deal involving Saul Niguez.

However, Laporta has indicated that there France international will honour the terms of his contract with the Blaugrana, which is due to run until 2024.

“Everyone is happy with Griezmann. He’s a true professional. He has a contract with Barca and we have to respect that,” said the Camp Nou chief.

Laporta on Moriba

Laporta was far less positive when asked to comment on Ilaix Moriba’s contract standoff with the club, with the 18-year-old having been exiled from both the senior and B team pre-season squads for refusing to compromise on his salary expectations in renewal talks.

“If Ilaix doesn’t want to renew his contract, he has other options,” he said of the teenage midfielder. “We don’t want players that have grown up here and don’t want to renew their contracts.

“We’re sorry, but the club comes before anything else and we can’t have this kind of thing happening. I want them to think again because we want to reach an agreement.”

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