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Barcelona valuation may drop if Messi leaves- Fernandez warns

Barcelona market valuation is likely to drop if Lionel Messi leaves the club, according to presidential candidate, Luis Fernandez.

Messi wanted to leave Barcelona last year, due to frustration with the club’s board and then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner ultimately elected to stay and see out his contract, which runs out at the end of the season, before Bartomeu and the entire Barca board resigned in October.

There has been talk that Messi may choose to remain at the club he has been at since 2001, having helped them to 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues.

However, Messi, who marked his 500th LaLiga appearance by teeing up Frenkie de Jong’s winner against Huesca last time out, will not make a decision until towards the end of the season – something Barca coach Ronald Koeman insists is not a problem.

With the presidential elections coming up on January 24, each candidate is outlining their vision for the future of the club, and Fernandez has vowed to do all he can to keep Messi at Camp Nou, outlining the financial benefits of retaining the 33-year-old.

“We can’t forget that Barcelona have a greater income because of Messi,” he told Radio Marca. “Barcelona would have less value without Messi.

“He is the only player in the squad who, by his mere presence, ensures Barcelona have more value and more income.

“We need income, but we also need to manage the club’s structure. There’s a need to negotiate the debt.

“But, there’s no danger of Barcelona being forced to become a limited company. The members can rest assured about that.”

Fernandez also wants the club to return to its roots and promote more players from its famed La Masia academy.

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