Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Joan Laporta sends message to Lionel Messi over Barcelona return

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed Lionel Messi could still return to the Camp Nou.

The Argentina forward made an emotional exit from the Catalan giants last summer after Barcelona were unable to renew his contract.

The 34-year-old signed with Parsi Saint-Germain where he has one more year left on his deal. Messi left Barcelona in tears but has repeatedly hinted he could return to the club before the end of his career.

And Barcelona president Laporta has now suggested the La Liga club are even prepared to make his dream a reality.

In an interview with ESPN, Laporta said: ‘I don’t believe Messi’s chapter at Barcelona is over. ‘And I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that chapter is still open, that it hasn’t closed.

‘To have a moment to do it how it should have been done so that he may have a much more splendid ending than what he had. If I feel like I owe him one? Yes.

‘Morally, as the president of Barcelona, I think I did what needed to be done. But also as Barcelona’s president, and personally, I believe I owe him one.’

Barcelona, despite the club’s dire financial situation, are set to continue improving their squad this summer, having already agreed deals to sign Christensen and Franck Kessie on free transfers.

Lewandowski and Raphinha have been signed from Bayern and Leeds United respectively while they are hopeful of agreeing a deal with Sevilla for Jules Kounde, who has been convinced to reject Chelsea for a move to the Camp Nou.

Manchester City star Bernardo Silva is also a major transfer target, although such a move may hinge on whether Frenkie de Jong leaves the club to join Manchester United.

Barca manager Xavi says he ‘really likes’ de Jong but has suggested Barcelona could sell the United and Chelsea target to improve the club’s finances.

‘We’ve had private conversations that are very important, that I will not reveal here,’ Xavi said after Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Real Madrid on Sunday.

‘He’s a key player, but then there’s the economic situation and Financial Fair Play.’

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