Lionel Messi is keen to return to Barcelona at the end of the season once his contract at PSG runs up, according to reports.
Messi’s future is one of the most hotly debated subjects in football, with a number of clubs linked with him, including MLS side Inter Miami and boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in his native Rosario.
In addition, Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal are reportedly preparing a £194million-per-year offer for Messi to join the Saudi Pro-League and come up against his former great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
But Barcelona continue to also be linked with their legendary former captain and record goal scorer.
Footmercato report that the player has regular exchanges with his former team-mate – and current Barcelona manager – Xavi, and that his father has met with club chief Joan Laporta.
The 35-year-old also is also believed to have a strained relationship with current PSG boss Christophe Galtier, who has struggled in his first season at the helm in the French capital.
On Tuesday, Messi reportedly left training early after refusing to participate in an exercise, adding to the increasingly tense relationship.
The former Lille and St. Etienne boss is thought to have attempted to keep Messi at training with his team-mates, but to no avail.
Following the World Cup in Qatar, Messi had appeared close to extending his stay at PSG, but despite verbal agreements reportedly being agreed he now looks set to depart the club after no deal has presented itself.
It has not been an easy season for PSG, a side that in the past decade have regularly waltzed to the Ligue 1 title with little difficulty.
Recent good form with four wins in five has papered over the cracks that were beginning to appear after Galtier’s side had managed only five wins in 2023 and five defeats, crashing out of the Champions League and French Cup.
But Messi has still remained at the top of his game, with 18 goals and 17 assists for the French champions in spite of their shaky form.
And the Argentine is not the only star facing an uncertain future, with his friend and team-mate Neymar also reportedly on his way out of the club. Even talisman Kylian Mbappe is believed to be unhappy.
The only issue with a return to Barca is the financial disaster at the Nou Camp, with the Blaugrana unable to sign players until they raise at least £178m to comply with LaLiga rules.
For Messi to return to the club where he spent more than two decades, he would likely have to reject far more financially lucrative deals from elsewhere and forego a signing bonus.
The club’s inability to afford his wages was the main reason behind his exit in 2021, and it appears unlikely that Barca will be able to finance a return, given they are already struggling to register new contracts with current stars such as Gavi.