Lionel Messi's contract renewal with Barcelona remains Joan Laporta's first priority this summer. But the Catalan club's newly elected president has a much bigger dream, one that will certainly rock the football world and possibly even break the internet.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi on the same team? Who would not want to see that. Laporta's dream is to make that happen and he has a plan. But obviously, first on the list for the Barcelona chief is to tie down their Argentine superstar to a new deal before he can explore anything else.
Talks between Messi and the Catalan giants have been ongoing with both sides positive that they will reach a resolution before the end of the current transfer window. The Argentina international's father is currently in Barcelona with payment structures being discussed with the club.
According to Spanish publication AS, Laporta is calm with regards to Messi's contract and expects it to be done sooner rather than later. The president's worry about the club's debt is also soon to be a thing of the past with the board of directors close to approving a refinancing package.
Messi's contract and the financial safety net is allowing Laporta to dream and as per AS's Javier Matallanas, he is dreaming big. The Barcelona president wants to unite two of the greatest players of the current generation at the Camp Nou next season. Ronaldo and Messi, who have long been rivals competing for the biggest individual and team prizes in Europe, could be in the same team.
The possibility of it happening is certain to be bordering on the unlikely but Laporta is said to have a plan in place to try his absolute best to pull off something unimaginable under normal circumstances. Ronaldo, who is a Real Madrid legend, will have a say in bringing this dream to fruition, while his agent is yet to be contacted with a proposal.
Laporta is ready to sanction a double player-plus-cash deal to bring Ronaldo from Juventus to Barcelona with Antoine Griezmann, Sergi Roberto and Philippe Coutinho all being mentioned as the players that will leave as part of the deal.
The wages of the Portuguese superstar, which will be extremely high, is expected to be offset with the salaries of the players leaving the club. Moreover, Barcelona are aware that their income is likely to double if they have both the superstars of world football donning the same club's jersey.
If the proposal is put in place, Ronaldo will have to consider his legacy with Real if he makes the move. But it will not be the first time a high profile player has switched between the two legendary clubs with Luis Figo and Brazilian striker Ronaldo among the few to cross the divide.