Lionel Messi open to Barcelona return, reports say

With Lionel Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain contract set to expire at the end of the season, the Argentine’s next move remains up in the air. While manager Christophe Galtier confirmed in yesterday’s press conference that renewal talks were underway, a report from Foot Mercato indicates that the forward is in favour of a return to Barcelona.

Although an agreement in principle was found at the turn of the year, and in spite of his father’s denials, the club and the player’s camp have reportedly grown more distant in their negotiating positions. Although the World Cup winner is happy in Paris, there are several options on the table. These include a move to the MLS – Inter Miami, specifically – but also moving back to Catalonia. Jorge Messi and Joan Laporta have held meetings, while Messi and Blaugrana manager Xavi are regularly in touch. The biggest obstacle, though, would be the La Liga leaders’ finances – there would need to be a major summer sale to free up space on the wage bill, in order for Barcelona to bring back their all-time top scorer.

Despite the disappointing Champions League campaign – a last 16 defeat to Bayern Munich – Messi has enjoyed a return to form this year after a difficult first season in the French capital. He now has 18 goals and 17 assists in all competitions so far.

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin 

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