Three factors that will influence Barcelona’s potential offer to Lionel Messi – report
Set to become a free agent in the summer, Lionel Messi is unsurprisingly a man in-demand. PSG are reportedly still in talks with the player over a renewal, while Barcelona, too, are keeping tabs on his situation, hoping to stage a grand return at the Camp Nou.
And, of course, there is the prospect of leaving Europe. Inter Miami seem to be the team most interested in his signature, while Saudi Arabian giants Al-Ittihad also want to sign him to reignite his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fortunately for Barcelona fans, though, Leo seems to favour closing his football chapter in Europe itself. There is still scope for that one last dance.
However, any move from Barcelona’s side depends on three crucial, yet still uncovered reasons, as per Veronica Brunati.
1. Salary cap
Barcelona are in a tussle with La Liga over potential signings in the summer, with league president Javier Tebas claiming that they will not allow the club to bring in any players.
Joan Laporta, on the other hand, seems to be hell-bent on reinforcing the team in the summer. The only problem is that they are unsure about the salary cap for next season.
After signing some big names in Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Raphinha, among others, Barcelona might not have a lot left in their wage bill to sign Leo Messi, who is still one of the best-paid players in the continent.
Barça might need to let of some of the players in the squad, starting with the attack, which currently has at least two different misfiring forwards in Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati.
2. New commercial agreements
While one way to loosen up the salary bill is to offload players from within the squad, another one could be finding new sponsors for the club.
Last year, Barcelona reached an agreement with Spotify to sponsor the men’s, women’s, and training kit for the club along with also getting the title rights for the Camp Nou.
The club is currently playing without a sleeve sponsor, which could be one of the areas they could find sponsors.
Further, since Barça will be playing at 60,000-seater Olympic Stadium starting next season while Camp Nou is going under renovation, they will lose out on a potential 30,000-40,000 tickets.
3. Conviction from Laporta and co.
Eventually, even if Barcelona are able to raise enough money, sell enough players, and find a place in the team for Leo, the final decision to sign him will depend on the board.
Laporta has been rather vocal about Messi’s return, but it seems unlikely that they will try to sign him in the summer if they see any potential downsides to the transfer.
One of them could be his fit in Xavi’s project, but the coach has already confirmed that will not be an issue. “Of course, he’s the best player in the world. The best player in history. He would always fit in the team,” he said.
Therefore, the only potential ‘problem’ remains the bad blood Messi has with Laporta. The World Cup winner does not share a friendly bond with the Barcelona president anymore, which could get in the way of any potential move.
His brother, Matias Messi, also confirmed this, saying, “We are not going back to Barcelona, and if we do, we are going to do a good cleaning. Among them, kick out Joan Laporta.”
10/03/2023 at 18:14
Messi! Messi! Messi! That’s all. sign Messi!