Barcelona’s image both worldwide and within the club was tainted the day they had to let to let go of their best footballer ever for free, because they couldn’t afford to register him.
It hit the confidence of the club and only now do they look close to recovering. Dragged forward by any means possible, President Joan Laporta has moved the club into a position to do deals again.
All the while, he continues to publicly tout the idea of return for Lionel Messi in the summer of 2023. The Argentine is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain next season and it looks as if Laporta will do what he can to facilitate a return.
Appearing on Catalunya Radio, Barcelona’s Economic Vice-President Eduard Romeu was asked if it was a viable deal financially.
“It would be viable, because if he returned, he would come free, so definitely yes.”
He was however keen to emphasize that there was far more to consider than just finances.
“It is a technical decision and a decision for the player.”
Mundo Deportivo carried the quotes and Romeu went on to speak about the general health of the club in a financial sense.
“Without making it sound presumptuous, we have saved Barca but we do not have it in good health economically and there is a lot more austerity and rigour and work ahead.”
“Barca will be healthy again in these five years [of mandate], in the 2024-25 season we will be at the level which corresponds to us.”
Beyond the financial considerations, convincing Messi to return might be the trickiest task ahead for Barcelona. Laporta broke Messi’s trust when could not renew him and it remains to be seen whether Messi would be willing to come back with him as President.