Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has said he will do everything in his power to ensure club great Lionel Messi remains at the Camp Nou should he prevail in January's election.
Messi, who wanted to leave Barca in the summer transfer window after being heavily linked in the media with a move to Manchester City, is out of contract at the end of June and is widely expected to depart the club he joined as a teenager.
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He is free to negotiate a move with foreign clubs from Jan. 1 and City are tipped to make another attempt to lure him away.
Laporta, who was previously Barca president between 2003 and 2010 and was at the helm when Messi made his breakthrough, said he understands the Argentinean's frustration.
He will, however, attempt to convince Messi that the Catalan capital remains the best place for him.
"I don’t believe he has (made up his mind about leaving)," Laporta told The Guardian.

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"I think he’ll weigh up all the options. Messi loves Barca, and I think he’ll consider the proposal the new Barcelona president makes him... If I become president, then I’ll speak to him.
"I can only imagine him in a Barcelona shirt and I’ll do everything possible to ensure he continues. I know Leo and what he’s interested in is winning.
"It’s not about money, never has been; if it had, he would have taken very different decisions throughout his career. We have to work hard to continue that beautiful story: Leo Messi and Barcelona."
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