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Sergi Barjuan exclusive: New Barcelona board must fulfil promises to keep Messi

Sergi Barjuan believes Barcelona's presidential candidates must show action to convince Lionel Messi to change his mind on leaving the club.

Messi accused current president Josep Maria Bartomeu of going back on his word to allow the Argentine to leave for free at the end of last season.

The 33-year-old has decided to see out the final year of his contract before getting his wish next summer.

But in positive news for Barca fans who want to retain the little maestro, the presidency of Bartomeu is hanging by a thread.

More than 16,521 signatures were collected in order to issue a vote of no confidence against Bartomeu.

A referendum will now take place in the near future to determine Bartomeu's future.

Luis Suarez, who was sold by Barca to Atletico Madrid this summer, said his good-friend Messi could stay at Barcelona if the board is changed.

In his criticism of the club's hierachy, Messi said: "The truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover holes as things go by."

And Barjuan, who played for nine seasons at the Camp Nou, wants the new board to follow through on their promises.

He told Tribalfootball.com: "Right now, with a motion of censure ahead of us, everything ison the back burner and is in the background and it is also against the player's interests, until there is an elected president with the right to make key decisions.

"The new president's first mission will be to convince Messi to stay. Words can be blown away by the wind. So, therefore,there has to be real action not just words…to back up the promises."

Messi put the football world in a frenzy with his transfer request, with reports linking him to Manchester City, Inter Milan and PSG.

When asked if he was worried the La Masia graduate would follow through on the threat, Sergi believes Messi had every right too after a trophy-less season.

"There are two important factors here," the former Spain international added. "A number one player wants to keep winning all the time and if he sees that he doesn't have a team, a club and the support to win more titles, he then starts to look at what's really best for him regarding his future.

"Secondly, because he is still a "one club man" and "made in Barcelona" …to give himself an absolute checkmate advantage, he is going to take everything into consideration before making a final move."

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Will McCarthy

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