Lionel Messi has opened the door to a return to FC Barcelona after speaking to President Joan Laporta this week.
The club’s all-time appearances and goalscoring leader is currently plying his trade at Paris Saint Germain, who he joined in 2021 after debt-ridden Barca failed to navigate La Liga fair play rules and offer him a new contract.
After June 30, 2023, however, the Argentine becomes a free man again with his two-year deal expiring at the Parc des Princes.
In recent months, there has been talk of a sensational return to the Blaugrana and Argentine journalist Sergio Gonzalez claims sources have told him about a phone call between Messi and Laporta this week.
Laporta is said to have tried to re-establish his relationship with Messi and offered his apologies for the manner in which the seven-time Ballon d’Or left Camp Nou in tears.
Messi allegedly told the president that he is only focused on the Qatar 2022 World Cup with Argentina, but after that the doors are open for a potential next destination which could be Barca.
Leading a revolution in the Catalan capital and helping Barca achieve their best start to a La Liga campaign in five years, current head coach and Messi’s former teammate Xavi Hernandez is believed to have given his backing to an approach for Messi.
Turning 35 next summer, Messi is still performing at a high level in Ligue 1, and offering him a one or two-year deal would allow him to retire in Europe as a star of the club which he joined aged 13 even if he winds up at Inter Miami in the MLS or at hometown outfit Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario after.
Simultaneously, though, there have been mixed reports that PSG’s Qatari backers inserted the choice of an optional year in France in Messi’s contract or are prepared to offer him fresh terms.
Landing Messi for the year Qatar also hosts the World Cup was a major coup for Paris Saint Germain and the QSI group, and blocking him from rejoining Barca would represent another victory in their bid to become a leading superpower.