BARCELONA presidential hopeful Joan Laporta has hit out at Paris Saint-Germain’s ‘disrespectful’ pursuit of Lionel Messi.
The Ligue 1 club have been linked with a move for the Argentine when his contract expires in June.
Joan Laporta has slammed Paris Saint-Germain’s chase of Barcelona’s talismanCredit: EPA
Lionel Messi is yet to sign a new contract at the Camp NouCredit: EPA
Manchester City and Inter Miami are also thought to be interested following Messi’s attempt to terminate his Barcelona deal last summer.
But PSG sporting director Leonardo’s comments on chasing the 33-year-old angered Laporta, who is competing to become Barcelona president in March’s elections.
The Catalan threatened to take the matter to Fifa and criticised Les Parisiens’ links to the Qatari government.
He told reporters: “[Barcelona] must be capable of making a good proposal that Messi is willing to accept, that depends on the club.
“I would understand any answer [from Messi], but he needs to know what the proposal is. That requires urgency.
“It is getting more difficult all the time to make a convincing proposal.
“He’s free to negotiate with other clubs now and Barcelona are still without a president.
“It is disrespectful to Barcelona that clubs like PSG publicly say they are going to sign Messi.
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“This coming from a club-state that have bypassed the rules. We cannot allow clubs and states the luxury of destabilising another club.
“In that sense, we will have to speak with Uefa and Fifa to avoid such actions.
“PSG must abstain from [talking about Messi]. It is out of place for another club to speak about him.
“And, at the moment, there is no president in place to respond to this lack of respect.”
Messi’s representatives, in a statement to Sport, were this week forced to deny claims that the striker was learning French in anticipation of moving to Paris.
Canal+ had reported on the supposed language lessons as a sign that he was ready to snub the Blaugrana and Manchester City.
We are seated at the large table of those clubs who are following the Messi matter closely.
PSG are doing little to hide their desire for Messi, with Argentina team-mate Leandro Paredes talking up the chances of a bid.
He told Corriere dello Sport: “It’s up to Leo to come to the club, because PSG are trying to convince him. I hope it happens.”
Earlier this month, Leonardo had told France Football: “Great players like Messi will always be on PSG’s list.
“But this is of course not the time to talk about it, or to dream about it.
“But we are seated at the large table of those clubs who are following the matter closely.
“In fact, no, we are not yet seated, but our chair is reserved just in case. Four months in football is an eternity, especially in this period.”
Messi was in action on Wednesday night, scoring on his return from a two-game ban to help his team beat Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey.
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