Lionel Messi ‘wanted’ but ‘I’ll do my best to keep him’ insists Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta after PSG mauling by Kylian Mbappe

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Barcelona’s humiliating Champions League defeat to a Kylian Mbappe-inspired Paris Saint-Germain will do nothing to silence talk about Lionel Messi’s future.

Messi is in the final year of his Camp Nou contract, having attempted to engineer a move away from the club last summer.

Messi has spoken out about the way Barcelona is run on numerous occasions

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Messi has spoken out about the way Barcelona is run on numerous occasions

But Barca will be powerless when his deal expires in June, with a number of top European clubs, including Manchester City and tormentors PSG, being linked to him.

Any hope of a Messi swansong in Europe took a huge hit on Tuesday night as Barcelona were thrashed 4-1 at home to the French champions in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

Mbappe, who’s viewed by many as a successor to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne at the top of the game, was insatiable as he fired in a hat-trick.

Messi got on the scoresheet himself but that was as good as it got for Barca, who are staring a Champions League exit straight in the face.

“Come to PSG, Leo!”

Icon Sport – Getty

“Come to PSG, Leo!”

And Joan Laporta, who’s in the running to become Barcelona president, gave an ominous update on the Argentine’s future at the club, who are understood to be going through big financial troubles.

Laporta told Sky Italia: “Messi wants to win with Barcelona. I’ll do my best to keep him, there are some clubs really interested in signing him.

“But Leo wants to win titles, not just to earn money. He’s not a ‘problem’ for Barça, Messi is the 30 per cent of the club’s profit.”