Barcelona president suggests Lionel Messi could have stayed at the club and played for free

Lionel Messi could have played for Barcelona for free..

Barcelona Joan Laporta has claimed that Lionel Messi could have played on with the Blaugrana if he offered to play for free at the cash-stricken club.

The Catalan giants financial woes are well known at this stage, but it appears Messi could have stayed at the club if an agreement was made at the eleventh hour.

Laporta, however, did concede that a deal to keep him at the club was unfeasible and would have risked the club’s future to an even greater extent.

Messi could have played for free.

Laporta also confirmed reports that Messi wished to stay at the Nou Camp, but it emerged shortly after that it would not be possible.

“There came a time when both parties saw that it would not be possible. There was disappointment on both sides,” Laporta told Catalan radio station RAC1.

“He wanted to stay but they also had a lot of pressure because of the offer they had. They knew if he didn’t stay, he would go to PSG.

“I hoped Messi would do a u-turn and he would say he would play for free.

“I would have liked that and I would have been all for it. It is my understanding La Liga would have accepted it. But we cannot ask a player of Messi’s stature to do this.”

Barcelona and La Liga in turmoil.

The Barca club president also opened up on the club’s perilous financial situation as they recorded losses of 481 million euros ($556 million) last season, with a gross debt of 1.35 billion euros.

“We had the conclusions of the audit (on Wednesday) and the investment in Leo would have put us at risk.

“We do not need more debt,” said Laporta. “I understand La Liga clubs are suffering. We have not ruled ourselves out of this operation [a new TV deal] but they have to change it. They are trying to reformulate the deal.”

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