Lionel Messi is being backed to remain at Barcelona by Joan Laporta, but he admits that he feared losing the Argentine to Inter in 2006.
Speculation is once again surrounding the future of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with no extension agreed as yet to a contract due to expire in 2018.
The former Barca president told The Guardian when asked if Messi ever came closing to leaving during his reign: “It was 2006 when Inter made an offer.
“They were prepared to pay the €150m buy-out clause, which is why we [later] raised it to €250m, but I always felt reassured by my relationship with his dad, Jorge.
“I told him: ‘They’ll have to pay the clause because I won’t sell. He’ll be happy here, he’ll get glory. There, he’ll only win financially. Your son’s destined to be the greatest in history and here he’ll have a team to help get there. He’ll enjoy it’.”