Barcelona have been dealt a major blow in their efforts to keep Lionel Messi at the club beyond this season.
Barcelona play their all-important Copa Del Rey semi-final second leg against Sevilla tonight. Copa Del Rey is one title that Barcelona have a realistic chance of winning but they will need to mount an incredible comeback at the Camp Nou tonight to qualify for the final after losing the first leg 2-0.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 3 March 2021.
Joan Laporta urges fans to vote for him if they want Messi to stay
The Barcelona presidential election will take place on the 7th of March. Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Tony Freixa are the three candidates. Laporta, who was in office during Barcelona's dominant spell from 2003-2010 has issued an ultimatum of sorts to fans regarding the future of Lionel Messi.
He has urged fans to vote for him as his becoming president is the only scenario in which Lionel Messi will choose to stay put at the Camp Nou. Joan Laporta told RAC1:
"I have a great relationship with Leo and he will consider whatever proposal I make. If I don't win, I am sure that Leo will not stay at Barcelona.
"Messi will weigh up the offer we make him. I'm convinced that if the other candidates win, Messi will not remain at Barcelona. He wasn't happy during Freixa's time on the board."
Real Betis interested in Barcelona youngster Oscar Mingueza
Barcelona youngster Oscar Mingueza has entered the final months of his current contract. His deal will expire on the 30th of June. However, Barcelona have the option of unilaterally extending his contract by a year and as such, an extension is likely to happen.
The youngster has impressed in his first season with the Barcelona senior side. He has been effective at both centre-back and at right-back. As per Mundo Deportivo, Real Betis are interested in signing Mingueza and have already got in touch with Barcelona to sound out the possibility of a deal.
Mingueza has garnered the attention of several English sides as well, according to the report. A decision on his future will be taken once the new president is elected.
Lionel Messi looking for houses in Paris
This has been one of the worst ever seasons for Barcelona. There has been far too much drama happening in and around the club. Amid all the political turmoil, they also have to deal with the possibility of their star man, Lionel Messi, leaving the club.
After informing the club of his desire to leave last summer, Messi had to stay put as no club could afford to sign him. However, he will become a free agent in the summer and Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been circling for his signature.
According to reports in Spain via (Express), Lionel Messi has started planning for life away from Barcelona. It is claimed that he is looking for houses in Paris. Paris Saint-Germain have a lot of familiar faces as far as Lionel Messi is concerned.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino is his compatriot as are Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes. Paris Saint-Germain also have a strong project that Messi would love to be a part of.