Barcelona have acknowledged they are in contact with Lionel Messi about bringing the player back to the club when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires in June.
According to UK news platform, ESPN, Vice President Rafa Yuste confirmed Friday that the club were looking into the possibility of re-signing Messi, who left for PSG in 2021, with coach Xavi Hernandez later adding he hoped to see the Argentine back at Camp Nou.
“I am still gutted he couldn’t continue here,” Yuste said at a news conference. “Of course, I would like him to come back, because of what he represents on a sporting, social and economic level.
“We are in contact with them (Messi’s camp), yes. Beautiful stories should have happy endings, and there is a mutual love between the two parties.”
Messi, 35, left two years ago after two decades in Catalonia because Barca could not afford to renew his contract. The financial side of any return this summer remains an obstacle.
Barca need to knock more than €150 million off their annual spending – or raise money through transfers – to comply with LaLiga’s economic regulations and be able to sign players and register contract renewals.
“We still have two months to work hard to present our revenue and sustainability plan to (LaLiga president Javier) Tebas,” Yuste added when asked whether bringing Messi back was really possible.
“I don’t like to speak about Leo because he is a PSG player, but if all the conditions are met, we are open to the possibility. (Barca) president (Joan Laporta) has been with Leo’s father, and there is a good relationship.
“Of course, there is no plan to go on the attack because we don’t want PSG to see it like that. If it happens, it will be because destiny takes you back to where you have to go. If all the conditions come together and Leo comes back to Barcelona, it would be the perfect ending to a very happy story.”
For Barca coach Xavi, who played alongside Messi, it depended more on what the Argentina forward wanted to do next than money.
“There is the fair play issue, but more than anything it depends on Leo’s intentions and (if he wants) to come back,” ESPN quoted him as saying during a news conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Elche.