He was expected as the messiah. This Friday, the Catalan media like the supporters of FC Barcelona were hanging on the lips of Joan Laporta, whose speech was expected. President Blaugrana began by declaring: “The reason is that we want to explain ourselves. The environment around FC Barcelona wants it. There is a certain impatience and we want to explain ourselves and explain the reasons for the decisions we make. We want to lay out the short-term roadmap. We arrived in the middle of the season and we end on a project that did not work and at the same time we have moved forward on our project, which we are convinced that it will bring joy to the fans and that it will reverse the economic situation we encountered ”.
The boss of Barça, who then clarified that an audit was going to be carried out, did not hide that there were financial problems and a big debt. But the club is looking for solutions to remedy it. Joan Laporta then got to the heart of the matter. First, he mentioned the case of Ronald Koeman, under contract until 2022.“At Barça, there is no transition season. We have respected the season in which we arrived and as we told the coach, at the end we will take stock, and then we will comment and evaluate the decisions for the future. We have always acted with the utmost respect for Ronald Koeman, a Wembley legend and a professional who does his job. At the end of the season, we will evaluate and work on the next season. We made an appointment next week ».
The Koeman case is not yet settled
Then he added: “We have a direct and clear relationship. He’s a coach who was already there and he has a contract. We are in talks to discuss what we want for next season. And in these conversations, everything is evaluated. The professional, the behavior … It is done normally and we are on the right track (…) We are all involved, including the coach. The first to know our decision will be Ronald (…) He wants to continue ». Despite everything, the press always evokes the desire of Laporta to bring back Pep Guardiola. But the president kicked in on him.
“What comes to my mind is that I want him to win the Champions League on Saturday. For him to win it with Barça and with City, that would be wonderful for him and also for all of us who love him. I don’t come here to explain my dreams but I like them to come true ”. Regarding Xavi, whom he sees becoming a great coach, he said: “Out of respect for Koeman, he has a current contract and we don’t rule that out. All the names that come out, I find that very good, everyone wants to come and coach Barça. But we will make the decision. What I don’t want is to mix it all up with other stories ”. Either way, nothing is yet settled.
Laporta is confident for Messi
Another priority file, that concerning Lionel Messi. On June 30, in almost a month, La Pulga will reach the end of its contract. The idea is, of course, to continue with him. “For Messi’s new contract, it’s going well, but it’s not done. We must continue to work, all the executives involved as well as the presidency. We will make a proposal which, within the possibilities of the club, will be up to it. The relationship is good and we feel like we are doing whatever it takes to keep Leo going ”. Then he indicated that the club had finally already made an offer.
“We made an offer within Barça’s possibilities. Leo certainly deserves a lot more and can have more. But due to his desire to make Barca great, I think he greatly appreciates the effort that has been put in and I think he is very excited to continue. It’s not a question of money, it’s a team project with the possibility of winning everything. We are with moderate optimism (…) Leo asks first for affection (to stay) and to feel at ease. To be comfortable, to smile again and for himself, he has to win. He must therefore see that he can win. It’s part of the thinking process, but he has to put a lot of his own into it ”.
The Argentinian, who wanted to leave last year, would have evolved in his thinking according to his president. “It has not yet been done and we must continue to make it happen. When I say asking for affection, it means that he wants to feel comfortable. He has years left and he wants to take advantage of them. This will depend on the fact that he understands himself with the people of the club and the people around him. All the players are asking for this and Leo has matured a lot. He has a lot of personality and character. He makes an effort. Before there was another president and now it’s me. And he likes it. He was disappointed with the other president and now he has a president who loves him and tells him so. Messi wants Barça to think big. He wants success, another motivation, another requirement. With me as president and this board of directors, he has it. And that’s why he helps us ”. Despite the club’s financial difficulties, the Barca president made an important announcement regarding the transfer window.
“Next week we will be announcing new additions for the first team. The pace is different. The environment around the club wants me to go fast, but we’re going piano piano. We must move forward with firmness, because we must reconcile two antagonistic situations (…) We are fighting to reverse the financial situation and we are sure to achieve it. When? We are optimistic. In a year and a half, at most two seasons, our club will be in good financial health. In the transfer window, all the teams are struggling to change players, it’s hard work for our management team, our CEO. I am optimistic and we will have a competitive team for next season ”. All free, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Agüero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia are targeted and some should therefore arrive in the coming days to listen to Laporta. To be continued …