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Barcelona president responds to Messi return speculations: “The doors are open”



Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking to the YouTube channel ‘The Business and Money Behind Sports’ (h/t Toni Juanmarti), Barcelona president Joan Laporta has opened up on the rumours linking Lionel Messi with a shock return to the club in the summer.

The 35-year-old left Barcelona in 2021 after Laporta & co. were unable to renew his contract due to the club’s financial situation. He ended up joining PSG on a two-year contract which will expire at the end of the current season.

There had been a lot of talk about Messi renewing with PSG and a verbal agreement being already in place. But things have changed in recent weeks, with the former Barcelona captain seemingly prioritising a return to Catalonia over signing a new deal with the Ligue 1 giants.

Laporta, who has previously spoken about re-signing Messi, has now stated that the door is always open for the Argentina captain to return to Barcelona.

At the same time, though, the Barça supremo acknowledged that he still has to work on mending the relationship between the player and the club which soured after his exit in 2021.

“Messi knows that Barça’s doors are open to him. We will see. I have to find a way to improve the current relationship between Messi and Barça,” Laporta said.

Explaining his decision to let Messi leave as a free agent back in 2021, Laporta laid the blame on the situation in which his predecessors had left the club, saying: “The legacy I found when I became president was not a good one and I had to make a decision that I am not happy with.”

“Messi is the best player in history. He has been the most important player in Barça’s history. I have to be very careful what I say. Messi is a PSG player and I have to have respect. Leo knows that we have him in our hearts. He is part of our shield,” he added.

Messi is understood to be prioritising a return to Barcelona, who will have to find ways to resolve their Financial Fair Play issues before they can hope to bring their former captain back for one last dance.

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