I don’t want to give false hope, Messi is leaving Barcelona – Laporta

Barça president Joan Laporta has rubbished reports that negotiations with Leo Messi have not been completely broken off, and has confirmed that the player’s time at the club has ended.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

“I don’t want to give false hope. The player has other offers on the tables and there has been a deadline for these negotiations: because LaLiga is starting soon, and because the player needs time to make a decision [on his next club]. We’ve been in negotiations for more than two months and these discussions have now concluded. We cannot register the player because we don’t have room for him in our wage bill”.

He added that “We cannot find a way around the current Financial Fair Play rules and it doesn’t make any sense to continue [with discussions]. The player also needs some time to assess the offers that he has on the table, and we need to respect that. After two months of negotiations, it is clear that we cannot sign the player. It is painful, but we must now go on without Messi. It’s very sad, but it is a challenge and we need to address it as such”.

Laporta made it clear that “Messi tried to make it as easy as possible for us. This is a sad moment for the club, but we have made our decision with the club’s interests in mind. We’ve overcome difficulties before and we will do it again. The post-Messi era begins here”.