Barcelona and Lionel Messi ‘open negotiations’ for stunning return in 2023
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Barcelona have started contract negotiations with club legend Lionel Messi in the hope that he would make a sensational return to the club in 2023.
This news was first reported by Catalunya Radio on Sunday evening after Barcelona thrashed Mexican side Pumas UNAM 6-0 in the Joan Gamper Trophy.
⏰ ¡Final del partido!— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 7, 2022
⚽ Barça 6-0 Pumas
👟 Lewandowski (x2), Pedri (x2), Aubameyang y F. De Jong
🏆 ¡El Trofeo Joan Gamper es azulgrana! 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/WKgPrwK3xm
According to the station’s El Club de la Mitjanit programme, club president Joan Laporta has already started discussions with Messi’s representatives, which is led by his father and agent Jorge Messi.
As things stand, Messi’s contract at Paris Saint Germain will expire in June 2023. There is however an option for the seven time Ballon d’Or winner to extend his contract by 12 months if he wishes to do so.
It has been reported that Messi could be tempted to return to Barcelona and spend the last years of his stellar career at the club where he made his name.
Messi joined the club’s world famous academy, La Masia when he was just a teenager.
The rumours linking Messi with a return to the Catalan club were partly fuelled by comments made by Laporta, who said that he owed a “moral debt” to Messi for the manner in which he departed last summer.
Laporta was speaking to CBS Sports and was quizzed about Messi’s move to PSG.
He said: “I did what I had to do in order to put the institution above the best player in history. I've known Messi since he was a kid, I love Leo.
“I feel a moral debt to the best player in history. I'll do my best to make sure Messi has the best ending of his career with Barcelona.
“I would like to do it. It will not be easy but I think that with the correct strategy we could do it. We will do our best to have Messi ending his career with Barcelona.”
Laporta was also asked whether negotiations would start right away.
He replied: “This is an idea that we have. Now is not the best moment to talk about it since he is a player of PSG and he has one more year on his contract. We have to respect it.”
Meanwhile, Messi has had a promising start to the Ligue 1 season with the Parc des Princes club. The Argentina international stole the show during the 5-0 win against Clermont Foot after assisting once and scoring twice, with one of his goals being a brilliant overhead kick.
Will Messi make a return to the Camp Nou next season? Only time will tell.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Joan Laporta, Paris Saint-Germain