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PSG yet to reach verbal agreement with Messi, Barcelona return still on table



Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images

Ever since Lionel Messi’s legendary triumph at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina, there has been conflicting reports over his future, with some hinting at his potential return to Barcelona while others have assured he is going to renew his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

The renewal with PSG narrative has been particularly strong throughout the course of the year so far. But once again, a fresh report from Ben Jacobs (h/t GOAL) suggests a return to Barcelona could still be on the table for Messi, as PSG have failed to reach a verbal agreement with the Argentine over a contract renewal.

This report comes just a day after Xavi’s press conference when the Barcelona manager was asked about Messi’s potential return. During the presser, Xavi floated the idea of Messi’s return, suggesting that the door will always be open for the Argentine if he even wants to return to Camp Nou.

Earlier in the month, it was Gerard Romero, who made a bombshell claim, suggesting that Lionel Messi’s contract negotiations with PSG are not as advanced. The Barcelona-based journalist stirred the pot once again claiming that Barça are open to all scenarios when it comes to the return of the Argentine.

Shortly after Romero’s claims, Messi’s representatives were quick to respond, with journalist Dani Gil quoting the attacker’s entourage, who deemed the exit rumours a ‘diversion tactic by Barcelona’.

In the midst of all this, Messi was reportedly approached by Saudi Arabian giants Al-Hilal as well. The traditional rivals of Al Nassr, who made headlines by signing Cristiano Ronaldo earlier in the year, were willing to fork out a bumper contract for the 35-year-old.

But Messi, having recently led Argentina to World Cup glory, appears to be keen on continuing at the highest level of football for now. And despite continued links over a return to Barcelona, a renewal with PSG still appears to be the most likely scenario.

Even Spanish journalist such as Alfredo Martinez has claimed that a return to Catalonia is ‘impossible’ for Messi due to the club’s current economic situation, coupled with the forward’s desire to continue at PSG.

This came even at a time when Barcelona, shortly after Messi’s triumph at the World Cup, were reportedly considering activating another lever in 2023, in an attempt to sign the 35-year-old. But given the stricter laws put in place by La Liga, coupled with the club’s inflated salary budget, that appears to be a unlikely proposition.

At the end of the day, it is PSG who still have the upper hand, in their bid to extend the contract of Messi. Although they have yet to reach verbal agreement with the veteran striker over a new deal, they have the cash to burn and the sporting perspective to keep the player sated.

At the same time, though, Les Parisiens must perform well in all competitions if they are to match Messi’s ambition. Their performance in the Champions League, in particular, could play a vital role in deciding the fate of the Argentine international this coming summer.

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