Messi was forced to leave Barca in the summer due to the club's absolutely dire financial situation.
He signed for PSG, penning a mega-lucrative contract - teaming up with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
But Joan Laporta has claimed that he hoped the six-time Ballon d'Or winner would stay at the club and play for FREE.
Even though it's 'legally impossible', the Barca president harboured ambitions of their club legend playing without a financial package.
He told RAC1: "With Messi I do not get angry because I appreciate him.
"I know he had a huge desire to stay, but also a lot of pressure because of the offer he had.
"Everything indicates that he already had the offer from PSG. Everyone knew that he had a very powerful offer.
"We knew from Messi that they had a very good offer."
Laporta continued: "At no time do I think of going backwards. I think I'm doing the best for Barca. Nobody can put the institution at risk.
"I did hope that at the last minute Messi would say that he would play for free. I would have liked that and he would have convinced me.
"I understand that the league would have accepted it. But we cannot ask that of a player of his level."
Messi took a few games to get going at PSG, but showed his excellence against Manchester City in the Champions League, opening his goal account for his new club with a stunning strike.
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