“We Wanted Him To stay But We are Sad That We have To Let Him go Now” – Joan Laporta

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been explaining why a new contract cannot be agreed with Lionel Messi, with an all-time great preparing to sever ties with the only club side that he has represented in an iconic career.

Laporta has said: “Leo wanted to stay at Barca. We wanted him to stay.

“I want to thank everyone that has been in the negotiations. There were lots of aspects that needed to be negotiated.

“He is the best player in the world and has other offers, of course.

“After all of this process, there comes a moment where you have to say ‘enough’. You have to analyse it and look at the numbers.

“In La Liga we have to abide by the rules. We think they could be more flexible, but that is not an excuse. We couldn’t abide by it.

“Leo deserves everything. He has proven that he loves Barca. He has his roots in Barcelona. I’m sad but I’m convinced we have done the best for the interests of Barcelona.”

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