20230202 Lionel Messi
PSG striker Lionel Messi could be moving back to Barcelona. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has hinted at the possibility of Lionel Messi returning to the club.

Messi, who will be out of contract with Paris Saint Germain this summer, has been an integral part of Barcelona’s success, and Laporta acknowledged his significance by stating that “Messi is the greatest player in history.”

Despite needing to be cautious due to Messi’s current status as a PSG player, Laporta indicated that the doors of Barca are open for the Argentinian World Cup winner.

He also expressed regret over his departure from the club in 2021, acknowledging that he had to make a difficult decision due to spending limits imposed by La Liga. Laporta’s comments suggest that he is looking for ways to improve the relationship between Messi and the club and is open to his return.

Potential return

However, there are several obstacles to Messi’s potential return. Barca’s current wage bill would need to be lowered, and ongoing investigations into the “Negreira case” involving possible match-fixing could have financial and competitive implications for the club.

UEFA has opened its own investigation into the matter, which may result in Barca’s exclusion from European competitions.

It remains to be seen whether Messi will once again don the Barca jersey or continue his career elsewhere, possibly in Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal known to be admirers of the 35-year-old. If moves to the Saudi Pro League then his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo who now plays for Al Nassr would continue in front of a brand new audience.