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Three things that need to happen for Messi to return to Barcelona – report



Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images

Lionel Messi’s chances of signing a new contract at PSG are looking bleaker by the day. The 35-year-old’s current deal expires at the end of the season and while an agreement with the French champions looked likely at one point, it is starting to appear like a distant possibility now.

But with the Argentine’s desire to continue in Europe next year, Barcelona have now presented themselves as an option for him again.

Having left the club in difficult circumstances in 2021, Messi is said to be considering a return while the Catalans are ready to welcome back their icon for one last dance.

But, at this stage, a move to bring back Messi is very complicated due to several aspects and according to SPORT’s Ivan San Antonio, three things need to happen for the seven-time Ballon d’Or to return to the club.

Messi needs to say yes

For starters, the most basic requirement for the deal to stand a chance is Messi saying yes. While reports have been stating that the 35-year-old is considering a return, he will need to give a definitive yes for the club to go all out and secure his signing.

The report states that Messi has been in constant contact with Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez, who is playing a fundamental role in the operation. The tactician has relayed to his former teammate that the doors are always open for him and that he has a place in the plans.

Another aspect is that Messi’s wife and children are believed to be keen on moving back to Barcelona, which could play a key role in his decision.

Laporta mends his relationship with Messi

When Messi’s contract was close to running out in 2021, president Joan Laporta, for the longest time, appeared confident about renewing him, until pulling the rug from under everyone at the last moment and deciding that a new contract would not be possible.

Laporta and Messi need to mend their relationship (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Messi reportedly felt betrayed by the club president’s sudden U-turn while his father and agent, Jorge, is understood to have had a heated confrontation with Laporta. Naturally, the relationship between the two parties soured from that point.

Recently, Laporta did meet with Jorge Messi and another meeting could soon be on the cards. But parties involved believe that the only way to dissolve the tension between the camps is to have the president meet the Argentina captain face-to-face to bury the hatchet.

People from both sides recognise that it will be complicated but believe both Laporta and Messi would be willing to set aside their difference for the good of FC Barcelona.

Financial Fair Play

Even if the aforementioned hurdles are crossed, the biggest roadblock for Barcelona could be La Liga and their Financial Fair Play rules. As things stand, the Catalans need to lower their wage bill by a massive €200 million in order to sign and register players in the summer.

Unless that is achieved, not only Messi, but any other signing will also be difficult for Barça. So, player sales and salary reductions become important for the Catalans, while the Argentina superstar would himself have to accept a lower wage, which he seems to be open to.

There are talks of utilising an innovative formula wherein Messi would get a percentage of commercial profits or sponsorships achieved from his return, although it is unclear if La Liga would approve such a measure. Either way, unless FFP issues are resolved, the former captain’s return would be unfeasible.

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