Barcelona president Joan Laporta has hinted that Lionel Messi could return to the club in the future.
It marked the end of a remarkable 20-year stay at the Nou Camp for seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who joined the club as a 13-year-old in 2001.
Messi has struggled to find his best form since moving to Paris, scoring only six goals in Ligue 1 in his debut season.
He has been linked with a return to Barcelona on numerous occasions, and club president Laporta has stated that he would like to bring the Argentine international back to the club.
“Messi has been everything; possibly the best player in history, the most efficient, only comparable to Johan Cruyff in the history of Barcelona,” Laporta told ESPN.
“But it had to happen one day, as a result of the legacy [financial trouble] we had received [from predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu].”
“The institution is above players and coaches, but I believe, and hope, that the Messi chapter at Barcelona is not yet over, and I believe 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, more importantly, has a much more splendid ending than it had.”
“As president of Barcelona, I believe I did my job.” But I believe I owe him on a personal and presidential level.”
According to Sport, Barcelona manager Xavi has spoken with Laporta about 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.
Any move for the Argentine superstar, however, is likely to be contingent on his performance for PSG this season.
Christophe Galtier’s team plays Gamba Osaka in their final warm-up game on Monday before facing Coupe de France champions Nantes in the Trophee des Champions match on July 31.
The defending Ligue 1 champions will then begin their league campaign on August 6 at home against Clermont Foot.