Joan Laporta on Lionel Messi: “Leo deserves everything – he has proven that he loves Barça.”

Paris Saint-Germain are the early favourites to sign free agent Lionel Messi. Club president Joan Laporta has made it clear that negotiations are over between Barcelona and the club legend.

“I want to thank everyone who has been in the negotiations during the past few months, with all the little intricacies, there were a lot of aspects to be negotiated as well,” Laporta said on Friday.

“It needed to be compatible with fair play, be of a certain duration, and after all of this, there comes a moment when you need to say enough.

“You need to analyse it rigorously with a cold head and look at the numbers. In LaLiga, we have to abide by the rules, we feel they could be more flexible but that’s not an excuse. We knew we couldn’t abide by it due to the situation.

“Leo deserves everything – he has proven that he loves Barca, he has his roots here. I’m sad, but I’m convinced we’ve done the best for the club.”

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