Lionel Messi’s Barcelona salary is “unsustainable” according to presidential candidate Emili Rousaud who hopes he will remain at the club when presented with a “project”.
The forward’s future remains in doubt after he failed to secure a Nou Camp exit last summer.
Barcelona could face the same problem in six months time but before that will hold presidential elections.
That could have a huge bearing on Messi’s future as the club seek solutions regarding the Argentine.
Rousaud has conceded that the 33-year-old’s mammoth salary cannot continue to be paid with Barcelona’s financial problems well documented.
Despite that he believes Messi can be persuaded to stay should he believe in the vision of the club.
“He did not want to leave the club for economic reasons. It was down to the lack of a sports project,” Rousaud told Sport .
“I will look him in the eyes and say: ‘Your salary is unsustainable, the club cannot pay you. But we are going to launch a project to surround you with young talent.'”
Erling Haaland is perhaps the most sought after young talent in football.
The Borussia Dortmund forward is tipped for big things and Rousaud wants to have him at Barcelona.
Contact has been made with the player’s agent Mino Raiola with the potential Barcelona chief believing that a deflated transfer market could work in their favour.
“The market prices in which the players move now are not those of two years ago,” he added.
“In addition, Barca has something very important: a shirt that has a lot of weight in the world. But of course, we will not stretch the arm more than the sleeve.
“My advisor Josep Maria Minguella has spoken with [Haaland’s agent] Mino Raiola to find out the conditions in which he would come and we have started talking.
“For a player like him, being in a club like ours would give him a great showcase worldwide.”