Off contract in June, Messi was a star of the previous Laporta era and the latter insists the two men are close.
"We may not be able to compete for money, but Messi is not ruled by money," he said.
"He wants to end his career as high as possible. With Messi, I have a relationship of esteem and respect. I'm sure if another candidate wins he won't stay.
"Messi will examine our proposal. There was a time when certain claims were disclosed that Messi was expendable..."