Is Lionel Messi’s return to FC Barcelona on the cards?

Speculations over Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi’s potential dream return to Barcelona continue to gather pace.

Lionel Messi #10 of Barcelona reacts after completing his hat trick

Lionel Messi, 35, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and he still has not yet made a final decision on his future. Paris Saint-Germain have held talks with their star playmaker over a new contract. The Les Parisians were thought to be keen about keeping the 2022 World Cup winner but things have changed of late.

Barcelona have been keeping close tabs on Messi’s situation at PSG, with vice president Rafa Yuste confirming in March that the Spanish club have been in touch with the 35-year-old and his entourage regarding a possible return.

“We’re crazy for Lionel Messi to return, we’re going to do everything we can to bring him back to Barcelona,” relayed by a source in Barcelona’s first-team staff. Generally, this kind of statement would be enough to give one an idea that things are happening behind the scenes, but it is not that straightforward when it comes to Barcelona.

Why Lionel Messi left Barcelona?

Back in the summer of 2021, Messi had fulfilled one of his biggest dreams of leading Argentina to an international trophy for the first time in his career. The playmaker starred in Argentina’s victory over Brazil in the Copa America final, ending a 28-year trophy drought for his nation.

It also only seemed a matter of time before Messi would extend his stay at Barcelona and continue his glittering career with the club of his life. However, things quickly took a U-turn as within less than 24 hours of what was supposed to be a mere formality of contract extension, Barcelona announced through their official Twitter account that they couldn’t afford to keep Messi and were forced to let him go—just eight days before the start of a new La Liga season.

Messi left Barcelona after 21 long years because of the club’s failure to comply with La Liga regulations. The club’s official announcement sent shockwaves around the footballing fraternity as nobody could see it coming.

Is a Barcelona return on the cards for Messi?

Messi has been in outstanding form this season, scoring 14 times and supplying 14 assists in 25 Ligue 1 appearances. He delivered a strong performance in PSG’s away win over OGC Nice where he chipped in with two-goal contributions. The 35-year-old superstar is showing no signs of stopping and was instrumental in Argentina’s 2022 World Cup triumph in Qatar.

With Messi’s contract with PSG expiring on June 30, 2023, there are clouds of uncertainty over his future in the French capital. He was expected to sign a new contract but is now seemingly tilting towards re-joining his former club. In fact, Messi is reportedly in regular conversation with Barcelona boss Xavi and often tells him that he wants to return to Camp Nou.

This serves as an ideal trigger for the Catalan club to work harder than before and meet La Liga’s financial regulations this time around to re-sign Messi. The gossips and murmurings of late suggest Messi’s last dance in Barcelona could just be real.

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