Lionel Messi may be basking in the glory of his World Cup triumph, but his honeymoon period will not last long. With Messi free to negotiate with anyone in the next 11 days, clubs will be racing in order to get their offers in.
One of them is Barcelona. President Joan Laporta has consistently stated that he is keen to see Messi back in Barcelona, having been the one to see him leave. Despite the odds lying heavily in Paris Saint-Germain’s favour, Laporta will not give up on his hopes.
As he enjoys the Barcelona club Christmas dinner, Sport say that he will speak to Messi and his entourage in the coming days. The intention is to clear the air and repair relations after his exit two summers ago, before ultimately clearing the way to talks. Having received a hero’s welcome back in his hometown of Rosario, Messi is currently relaxing after the World Cup.
It seems a slim chance either way. The Blaugrana will be unable to compete in terms of finances. Laporta will be forced to pull on Messi’s heartstrings and sell him a romantic last dance with Barcelona.
Beyond Messi’s decision, they must work out how to bring in a large salary next summer with their salary limit looking as if it may be highly restrictive. Apparently they are working out another economic lever in order to make the deal work. It is worth remembering that the Barcelona board have permission to sell 49.9% of Barcelona Licensing and Merchandising, which they did not use last summer. Perhaps using it for Messi was the plan all along.