Speaking in an interview with SPORT, Enric Masip, the advisor to Barcelona president Joan Laporta has given an insight into the club’s pursuit of Lionel Messi this past summer.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner was available for free after his PSG contract had run out. And there were talks held over a possible return to Barça, two years after his disheartening departure, but a breakthrough was not reached.
Eventually, Messi moved to Inter Miami in the USA, where he is currently thriving, while Barcelona also enjoyed a successful transfer window making some important additions like Ilkay Gundogan, Joao Cancelo, and Joao Felix, among others.
Masip on Messi not returning
While Financial Fair Play problems would have presented a hurdle, Masip stated that effort would have been made if Messi wished to come back to Barcelona in the summer.
When asked if Messi’s return was possible, he replied: “I think so, in the conditions that were talked about, yes. If he had been excited about coming here, an effort would have been made.”
“In the end, everyone decides to go where they have their dreams and their life project. He gave up earning money in Arabia to go to the United States. He seems happy with his family.”
Talking about Laporta’s reasons for wanting to bring Messi back and the relationship between the pair, Masip added:
“The president wanted him to return because Leo’s departure had been bitter, but he had to put the club before anything else. The relationship has been rebuilt.
“And I think the president was right to offer him the chance to retire in a Barça shirt and open the door to pay tribute to the best player in history.”
What has Laporta said?
Laporta himself has previously spoken about Messi not returning to Barcelona this summer, saying:
“We did everything we could. It was very close. We had to manage our financial fair play situation so we needed time. At the end, we reached an agreement with La Liga that authorised us to add him to the squad.
“He decided to go to Inter Miami, we respect him. Because of the circumstances, he told us it was the best thing for him and also he can bring a lot to Inter Miami and to football in the United States.”