Barca Presidential Candidate Riera: I Wouldn't Pull Out All Stops to Keep Messi

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Barca Presidential Candidate Riera: I Wouldn't Pull Out All Stops to Keep Messi

Barcelona presidential candidate Pere Riera said he "wouldn't pull out all the stops" for Lionel Messi to stay at Camp Nou.

Josep Maria Bartomeu quit as Barca president last week, ahead of a vote of no confidence against his leadership, along with the entire board of directors.

Following Bartomeu's decision to quit it has been reported Barcelona's presidential elections will be held in the second week of January, with Riera announcing his candidacy.

Messi's future remains an important topic at the embattled LaLiga giants after the six-time Ballon d'Or winner handed in a transfer request following a tumultuous 2019-20 season.

The Barca captain was tipped to join Premier League powerhouse Manchester City before opting to remain in Spain.

Asked about Messi, Riera told Radio Marca: "In my opinion, Messi has to stay at Barcelona and not with history. It's not good for anyone.

"In the end, it's Messi who decides [his future]. I very much doubt that Messi wanted to leave Barcelona [in the summer].

"I wouldn't pull out all the stops for Messi."

It has been a difficult start to the campaign for Messi, as he has now gone 877 minutes without scoring in open play.

Messi's last open-play effort came against Napoli in the Champions League back in August, although he has scored three penalties and one free-kick since then.

Barca equalled their worst tally of LaLiga points after six games since the Spanish competition reverted to three points for a win.

Ronald Koeman's side drew 1-1 with Deportivo Alaves on Saturday, meaning they have just eight points so far in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign.

That is the same total as Barca managed at the start of the 2002-03 campaign when another Dutchman, Louis van Gaal, was in charge.

Source: beIN