Barcelona presidential candidate Jordi Farre has outlined the type of deal he would like to strike with Lionel Messi to ensure he stays at Camp Nou.
Messi’s contract expires this summer, and after a long dispute earlier this year it seemed clear that the Argentine saw his future away from Catalunya.
However the resignation of Jose Maria Bartomeu from the presidency, with whom Messi had a severely strained relationship, could mean that the 33-year-old has a rethink about whether he wants to commit his future to the club.
And Farre believes a flexible agreement which could potentially allow Messi to return to Newells for a season, then come back to Barca, is an option.
Farre said: “Leo will play wherever he wants. I think we have to draw up an open contract which will allow him the chance to retire at any moment, when he sees fit.
“We would be delighted if he asks us if he can spend a year playing at Newell’s, return and see out his playing days at Barcelona. In life, it’s important to to show gratitude.
“We’re not going to wait until the result of the election before talking to Leo’s father. We are going to start work now so that by the time of the elections, we will have peace of mind that he is staying. We have a project for life underway for him. If we win, we will achieve what we set out to do, Leo will stay for as long as he wants.”
Farre also stated that there must be discussions over what his contract will look like. Barcelona’s precarious financial position is well known and Messi’s contract takes up a significant sum of their total revenue.
So the answer is making Messi the face of the brand for years to come.
He added: “Messi has to be the face of the club, whether that is a honorary president or ambassador, we will give him the opportunity to make money.
“We also have an economic project which would combine the Barcelona and Messi brands, but first we need to discuss that with him in person. It’s a stunning project. We could make Messi the new Jordan.”