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Barcelona president made a sentimental promise to Messi after farewell ceremony last year

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Over the past few days, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding Lionel Messi and a potential return to Barcelona in the summer of next year.

Journalist Veronica Brunati, who happens to be very close to the 35-year-old superstar and his camp, claimed that he would be back at Barça in the summer of 2023 on Tuesday.

Following the emergence of those claims, multiple journalists and outlets, including Fabrizio Romano, reported that there was no major development regarding Messi’s future and that he was yet to make any decision on where he will play his football next year.

Amidst the to and fro, Joan Fontes has provided a detailed explanation of the scenario that exists between Barcelona, Messi and club president Joan Laporta at the moment.

As per the journalist, Laporta made an emotional promise to Messi that he will re-sign him at Barcelona once his contract at PSG would expire at the time of the Argentina captain’s farewell last year.

It is claimed that Messi and his camp were left hurt and disappointed in the manner of his exit in 2021 and blamed the Barcelona board for it.

The former club captain, who is still owed a large amount of money in deferred wages, was fully committed to continuing at Spotify Camp Nou, but it was not to be. Even though he and his family are settling in well in Paris, they still consider Barcelona to be their home.

Meanwhile, Laporta does not want to be remembered by fans as the president who let Messi leave Barcelona. Having blamed the club’s financial situation as well as the influence of Ferran Reverter for his departure, the president now wants to do everything possible to re-sign the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The update further claims that Laporta contacted Messi in early September this year to apologise and mend their relationship, saying something along the lines of: “Leo, you should not have left like that. We made a mistake and I want to make it right.”

Manager Xavi Hernandez, meanwhile, is said to be in regular contact with his former teammate, which could end up playing a key role in influencing his decision next summer.

Messi’s camp, though, wants Barcelona to acknowledge that the circumstances of his departure should have been handled in a much better way.

However, any decision on his future could be impacted by several other factors like Gerard Pique’s possible departure from Barça, the future of Sergio Busquets as well as Luis Suarez’s impending transfer to MLS club LA Galaxy.

As things stand, Barcelona cannot officially negotiate with Messi given that he is still contracted with PSG, who are ready to offer him another big-money deal to ensure his stay at Parc des Princes.

But Laporta is very clear on the matter – he wants Messi back at Barcelona and will do everything in his power to make it happen.

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