With Barcelona players getting a break from training last week following their La Liga title triumph against RCD Espanyol and the subsequent bus parade, three club captains Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, and Jordi Alba travelled to Paris where they met Lionel Messi.
This report comes from Fernando Polo and Ferran Martinez of Mundo Deportivo, who state that the three Barcelona veterans met with their former teammate over dinner in Paris last week and a lot of things, including their club futures, were discussed.
As such, the Barça trio are understood to have asked Messi about the rumours of his possible return to the club in the summer and whether he has received an offer from the new La Liga champions.
But, the Argentina captain responded with a ‘No’, confirming that Barcelona are yet to table a formal contract proposal for him.
Messi will become a free agent at the end of the season as a renewal with PSG is no longer a viable option. He has a massive offer worth around €500 million per year from clubs in Saudi Arabia, while Barça are keen on re-signing him as well.
However, the Blaugrana are yet to send in a formal contract offer to their former captain. This is because they are waiting on La Liga’s approval of their economic viability plan, post which they will get a clearer picture of their Financial Fair Play margin.
Based on that, an offer will be made to the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner. The viability plan approval was expected this week, but has been pushed forward by a week or two as La Liga is having it reviewed thoroughly.
Until that is done and a green light is received, Barcelona will not open formal talks with Messi despite club president Joan Laporta and manager Xavi Hernandez making it abundantly clear that they wish to re-sign the legendary footballer.
Messi, should he return to Barça, will be without two of his closest friends as both Busquets and Alba will be leaving the club at the end of the season. However, their departures could help the club with Fair Play, which in turn, should aid the return of the Argentina captain.