Barcelona president Joan Laporta has hinted Lionel Messi could make a sensational return to the club in the future.
Messi, 35, was forced to leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last summer, with the Catalan club unable to renew his contract due to their ongoing financial difficulties.
It brought to an end an incredible 20-year spell at the Nou Camp for seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who first signed for Barcelona as a 13-year-old back in 2001.
Since moving to Paris, Messi has struggled to produce his best form and managed only six goals in Ligue 1 in his debut season in French football.
He remains continually linked with a return to Barcelona and club president Laporta has suggested he would like to bring the Argentina international back to the club.
“Messi has been everything, for Barca he has possibly been the best player in history, the most efficient, only comparable to Johan Cruyff in the history of Barca,” Laporta told ESPN
“But it had to happen one day, we had to make a decision as a consequence of the legacy [financial trouble] we had received [from predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu].
“The institution is above players and coaches, but I think, I wish, that the Messi chapter is not over yet at Barca and I think our responsibility is to ensure that this open chapter, which has not yet been closed, has a good moment in which it can be done as it should have been done and, in addition, has a much more splendid ending than it had.
“As the president of Barca, I think I did what I had to do. But on a personal level and also as president, I think I owe him.”
Spanish outlet Sport claim Barcelona manager Xavi has spoken to Laporta about the possibility of bringing Messi back to the club for the 2023-24 season.
Messi has just one year remaining on his current deal at PSG and would be able to rejoin Barcelona on a free transfer next summer.
However, any move for the Argentine superstar is likely to depend on his performances for PSG this season.
Christophe Galtier’s side face Gamba Osaka in their final warm-up match on Monday before taking on Coupe de France winners Nantes in the Trophee des Champions match on July 31.
The defending Ligue 1 champions will then open their league campaign at home to Clermont Foot on August 6.
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