Barcelona president Joan Laporta spoke to reporters on Friday amid speculation over a host of new signings, Ronald Koeman’s future and a contract offer for Lionel Messi.
Laporta seemed optimistic Messi will stay, offering a update on Koeman’s future and admitted the club hope to announce some new signings next week.
Here are the best bits:
Laporta on Messi contract
Contract talks are going well but they’re not done yet. We’re working hard to make a good proposal that is within our means and we hope he will accept it. Our relationship is very good. Messi loves Barca.
I am sure he deserves more and could get more elsewhere. I am convinced he appreciates the effort we’re making and I think he’s excited with our sporting project. I have always said, it’s not a money issue with Leo, it’s about winning everything. I am moderately optimistic.
Laporta on what’s changed with Messi (since the burofax)
He wants to be comfortable, he has some years left and he wants to enjoy them. What has changed? Well, now I am President and i think Leo likes that.
Laporta on Koeman future
I have already told Koeman what I had to tell him very clearly. We’re assessing the season. He has a contract in place but I don’t believe in transitional seasons. We will continue to speak to him and make further decisions next week.
You have to understand that he was a coach that was already in place with a year on his deal when we took over. We’re trying to come to an agreement where we can share with each other what we want for next season. We take everything into account. Ronald will be the first to know our decision.
Laporta on reports Koeman was taken to hospital
Yesterday he had an episode that saw him have to go to the hospital, but he is fine. I called him.
Laporta on Super League
The European Super League was already advanced when we took charge. For Barça, it was important to be involved. Barça will never be left out when it comes to new movements in the world of football.
We don’t plan to apologise for our stance, nor do we plan to pay a fine that has no justification. If they fine us, we will got to CAS and I am sure that we will win
Laporta on Xavi rumors
We owe respect to Koeman, who has a contract with us. Don’t rule him out. Other names that are being linked, seem fine to me, because everyone wants to come ... but we have a coach and it’s necessary to talk and take a period to reflect.
Laporta on Guardiola rumors
I am not here to talk about dreams, I’m here to talk about realities. When we talk about Guardiola, the only thing in my head is that I hope he can win the Champions League this weekend.
Laporta on Barca finances
We have €1.2 billion gross debt and around €350 million in losses. We are sure that we will revert it because we have strong assets. There are a lot of investors that are keen on our club and I am optimistic that in two seasons we will be financially healthy again.
Laporta on transfers
Losing has consequences and we will try and improve the squad. Next week we will announce signings for the first team and you will see the results of what we have been working on.