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FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta, speaking at the official presentation of Memphis Depay, also touched on a number of other matters. One of those was the current situation regarding Leo Messi
On Leo Messi
“The player has always said he wants to stay on and we are making good progress with the negotiations” he said. “Yuste and Alemany are working very hard. What we all want is for Messi to stay at Barça. To stay for a lot of years and play alongside such talented footballers as Depay."
“We are very satisfied with the attitude being shown by both parties, which an operation like this needs. Leo is on holiday right now, but he has a whole team working to get him a contract that suits everyone.”
On the salary cap
"The players we are signing can be registered. We know about the restrictions, which come by cause of what we have inherited. It isn’t easy but we are working hard with LaLiga. Alemany is doing an extraordinary job, so is Yuste and the secretary. We have to follow the rules. We are convinced we can reduce the payroll or find a formula that’s acceptable to LaLiga. LaLiga is on our side and so is the president. He is the first person to want players like Memphis to be playing for Barça, but there are rules and we want to obey them.”
"The players are showing a very positive attitude. We understood their reaction but when they saw the situation, they understood. Their agents are listening to our proposals."
On Antoine Griezmann
"Griezmann is on a contract and unless the circumstances changes, he’s part of our team."
"The market is moving but it’s an unusual situation. There’s not much money about and there are lot of player exchange offers. We appreciate Antoine very highly. He is an important investment by the club and we are happy with him. Given our situation we have to be open to anything, but it is not likely that a team is going to present a big enough offer for him to leave.”
On Pjanic and Umtiti
"We respect all of our players. When we speak to them, we are honest at to the point. Neither of them have been playing much, but they have worked hard in the preseason. They’re dedicated. If we had any doubts about them for the season ahead, we would tell them straight.”
"The big issue is that they are getting very little playing time. They know what the coach thinks and how much of a chance they have. They know that and we are looking at ways that they could leave. The ones who most need to know that they’ll be guaranteed a game is the players themselves.”
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