It’s a distant, nearly impossible dream, but many Barcelona fans still fantasise about the return of Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar is out of contract in the summer, but a number of factors make his return difficult in the summer. However it appears their relationship with the club is no longer one of them.
Following his departure, relations between Messi (and in particular Jorge Messi, his father) and current President Joan Laporta were broken. The Messi family felt as if they had been betrayed by the Barcelona President.
However the recent meeting between Jorge Messi and Laporta, while not to discuss a transfer is evidence of a thawing of relations, according to Joan Fontes.
Contract negotiations at Paris Saint-Germain are slowing down. The French side are once again in an uncertain situation following another Champions League exit, and Messi wants a similar salary to Kylian Mbappe to remain in Paris, having rejected their first offer. With Leandro Paredes and Angel di Maria no longer at the club, Messi is less comfortable in the dressing room too.
Messi, his partner Antonella Roccuzzo, and their children, all still consider Barcelona home. They have kept their house in Castelldelfels, and returned last month to have dinner with Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
In addition, Xavi Hernandez and Messi met in a restaurant last year, and the pair were in synchronisation on Xavi’s plans for Messi on the pitch, in a hypothetical return.
The report goes on to say that the salary limit, the time at Estadi Lluis Companys, which will reduce their ability to capitalise on Messi’s theoretical return, and the potential departure of Busquets and Alba are all factors that might impede a return.
While those are some major factors to negotiate, the takeaway from Fontes’ report is that there is still hope in Can Barca that he may return, and the willingness to do so from Messi. Whether the logistics allow that is another matter.