Barcelona confirm private talks with Messi over sensational return


Lionel Messi right winger of PSG and Argentina during the warm-up before the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg two match between FC Bayern München and Paris Saint-Germain at Allianz Arena on March 8, 2023 in Munich, Germany. 

There is no denying that Paris Saint-Germain are doing their utmost to keep Lionel Messi on their books. With the Argentina superstar’s contract at Le Parc des Princes set to expire this summer, the French football powerhouse have had a renewal offer on the table for several months.

The problem is, however, Messi doesn’t seem to be willing to put pen to paper on a new contract so early, which has sparked massive rumors about the newly minted World Cup winner’s next destination.

The speculation intensified on Friday after Barcelona confirmed that they are in contact with Messi about bringing him back in June. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner made a tearful farewell to the Spanish giants two years ago due to “financial and structural obstacles” before moving to France.

“Leo [Messi] and his family know the affection I have for them,” Barcelona vice-president Rafael Yuste told a press briefing. “I am still gutted he couldn’t continue here. Messi knows how much we appreciate him.

“I would like him to come back, because of what he represents on a sporting, social and economic level… We are in contact with him, yes. Beautiful stories should have happy endings, and there is a mutual love between the two parties.”

When asked whether re-signing Messi was really financially feasible, Yuste said, “We still have two months to work hard to present our revenue and sustainability plan to [LaLiga president Javier] Tebas.

“I don’t like to speak about Leo because he is still a PSG player, but if all the conditions are met, we are open to the possibility. [Barca] president [Joan Laporta] has been with Leo’s father, and there is a good relationship.

“Of course, there is no plan to go on the attack because we don’t want PSG to see it like that. If it happens, it will be because destiny takes you back to where you have to go.”

The stance was echoed by Barcelona’s current head coach Xavi. “A lot of conditions have to fall into place for it to happen,” he said on Friday. “Leo has won everything in the game, and it will depend on his happiness. If he wants to come back, if that’s his intention, we will speak about it.

“We are friends, we speak often, but it’s not the moment to talk about this, for the good of Leo, the club or the squad. It’s an issue we’re dealing with, but from that to him returning is a giant leap.

“I hope we see him come home. I’m the first person who would love to see the best player ever return. And it is normal that fans are excited about a ‘Last Dance’ like what happened with Michael Jordan.”

According to multiple Argentinian media outlets, Messi still wants to play at the highest level, which put a potential move to America or Saudi Arabia out of the picture. It is not yet known whether he will stay at PSG or seek a new adventure.

One thing is clear though. Without Messi, Barcelona have failed to make it beyond the group stage of their last two Champions League campaigns. For almost everyone at Camp Nou, the 35-year-old talisman is sorely missed.

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