Leo Messi is acclaimed in Argentina and invoked at the Camp Nou after hearing some whistles in Paris. Although he has an offer from PSG to renew the contract that expires next June, 10 he allows himself to be loved in Buenos Aires, finally a world champion like Maradona and not a spiteful man who took refuge in Rosario, and he no longer cries or pouts —as if he had overcome the duel— when he hears the name of Barça, the club that released him for not being able to assume his salary in 2021. At 35, the Albiceleste captain still feels competitive and maintains the expectation of signing with a team that allows him to aspire to the highest awards before finishing his career in Miami or at Newell’s.
Messi is on everyone’s lips and he doesn’t agree or deny the information that is happening about a future that could have a lot to do with his past as a Barça player. The Barcelona president Joan Laporta has explained his intention to improve the relationship with the player after remembering that he has the doors open to the Camp Nou. It would not be just to organize a tribute but to study the option of playing for Xavi’s team. Relations between both parties have resumed after a meeting between Laporta himself and Jorge Messi, the footballer’s father, revealed by Catalonia Radio. There will be a second meeting soon while Xavi’s interest in Leo also increases.
The Barca coach has asked the board for the urgent signing of a passer who can replace or complement Pedri. Messi fits perfectly into the profile that Xavi wants. The Argentinian can act as a striker or fourth midfielder and his relationship with the coach is as solid as the one he also has with captain Busquets, who has received a lower renewal offer compared to the offer he has from Inter Miami, the club that also aspires to hire the 10. The return of Messi would also be well received by the Barça dressing room and a compatriot who knows him very well, such as Kun Agüero, has said: “If Laporta takes the step, Messi will return.”
Last Sunday, during the Kings League match at the Camp Nou, which was attended by 92,522 spectators, Messi’s name was also chanted after being quoted by the Argentine singer Tiago PZK. The majority of the fans always showed their esteem for a player familiar with Barcelona and Castelldefels. The Argentine, for now, has let his father and Laporta do it. The conquest of the World Cup has freed him and he does not rule out ending up in impossible scenarios before the success of Qatar. The economic claims of the 10 are also negotiable, although hardly acceptable for Barcelona, which right now cannot even register Gavi as a professional.
Javier Tebas, the president of the League, has already announced that the Barça club needs to lower the wage bill for next season by around 200 million euros, an amount that seems practically impossible at the Camp Nou. Barça, however, filed a complaint against the employers’ association of the clubs in the commercial court number 7 of Barcelona for understanding that they received unequal treatment by preventing them from expanding the salary mass by precisely 15% as happens with those who signed the contract with the CVC fund —it was not subscribed to by Barcelona, Madrid, Athletic and Ibiza—. The prospects for Barça’s capitalization have become even more complicated with the Negreira case.
Although the Barça board of directors promised to announce the financing process for the Espai Barça, valued at around 1,500 million, before next Friday, it is known that many investors are asking for more guarantees since possible measures against the club were announced by organizations such as UEFA , after it was denounced that he paid 7.3 million over 17 years to the vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA). Associating the name of Barcelona with that of Messi, regardless of the final result, meanwhile helps the Barça entity to combat the reputational crisis it is suffering from the Negreira case.
From the burofax to the goodbye of ’10′
Sources close to the Barcelona president assure that it is not “a bluff” but that Laporta “is going to do everything possible” to recover the relationship with the player and study the feasibility of his return to Barça. Laporta was convinced that he could ensure Messi’s continuity when he returned to the presidency — “I’ll fix it with a barbecue,” he declared in an interview with The vanguard— until the most important executives and guarantors in the club convinced him not to sign the contract with the League and CVC.
The president attended to his advisers and allied himself with Florentino Pérez, president of Madrid, in his commitment to the Super League. The change in strategy also caused Messi to resign. The player, who in 2020 sent a burofax to the Camp Nou offices in which he announced his desire to leave Barça, then chaired by Josep María Bartomeu, was emotional a year later in his goodbye because he was convinced of his continuity in the Camp Nou. The situation then generated a rupture between the footballer’s father and Laporta.
Having somehow overcome that disagreement due to the intervention of third parties, Messi’s return is no longer impossible, also favored by the emotional moment that the footballer lives after reaching the World Cup. The thread is still so weak that it invites both parties not to force the situation pending events, a situation that the only one that worries is Paris Saint Germain, the club that has offered the renewal to Messi, paid 222 million for Neymar in 2017 and boasts of having Mbappé after his refusal to go to Madrid.
You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits