Lionel Messi says he wants to return to FC Barcelona After a phone call from Laporta
Lionel Messi has indicated an interest in returning to FC Barcelona after meeting with president Joan Laporta this week.
The club’s all-time appearances and goalscoring leader is currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain, where he signed a new contract in 2021 after debt-ridden Barcelona failed to navigate La Liga fair play rules and offer him a new contract.
The Argentine, however, will be free after his two-year contract at the Parc des Princes expires on June 30, 2023.
There has been talking in recent months of Messi making a sensational return to the Blaugrana, and Argentine journalist Sergio Gonzalez claims sources told him about a phone call between Messi and Laporta this week.
Laporta is said to have attempted to repair his relationship with Messi and apologized for the manner in which the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner left Camp Nou in tears.
Messi allegedly told the president that he is only focused on Argentina’s World Cup in Qatar in 2022, but that after that, the door is open for a potential next destination, which could be Barcelona.
Current head coach and Messi’s former teammate Xavi Hernandez is thought to have given his backing to an approach for Messi after leading a revolution in the Catalan capital and assisting Barcelona to their best start to a La Liga season in five years.
Messi, who will be 35 next summer, is still performing at a high level in Ligue 1, and a one- or two-year contract would allow him to retire in Europe as a star of the club he joined at the age of 13, even if he ends up at Inter Miami in the MLS or at hometown club Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario afterward.
Simultaneously, there have been conflicting reports that PSG’s Qatari backers have inserted an optional year in France into Messi’s contract or are ready to offer him new terms.
Getting Messi for the year Qatar hosts the World Cup was a major coup for PSG and the QSI group, and preventing him from rejoining Barcelona would be another victory in their quest to become a leading superpower.
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