Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

Messi responds to Barcelona interest as they eye return for the Argentine star

Lionel Messi has responded to Barcelona’s interest as the club eye a return for the Argentine superstar.

Barcelona head coach Xavi has made no secret of his desire to bring him back to Camp Nou, feeling his ‘time at the club is not over’.

The Catalan club’s president, Joan Laporta, also spoke about his dream of re-signing Messi from PSG in the summer, despite the club’s ongoing financial issues.

Messi, arguably the greatest football player of all time, scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barcelona but ended his 21-year association with the La Liga club when he opted to move to PSG in France last year.

During his time with Barcelona, Messi won the La Liga title 10 times, the Copa del Rey seven times and the Champions League four times.

‘I would like to think that Messi’s time at the club is not over, let alone the way it happened,’ Xavi said in July.

‘I think he deserves a second chance, or another chance, to show that he can leave the club well and that he has been the best player in history.

‘From next year we will talk about it. But the question is whether I would like it, the answer is yes.’

Barcelona president Laporta added: ‘I feel indebted to Leo Messi. I would like him to end his career in a Barca shirt, and be applauded at all the stadiums.

‘I feel partially responsible for how things ended, and I feel that this is a temporary end and that we will make this dream a reality. At least that is the dream.’

Messi’s current contract is due to expire in 2023, but PSG have recently indicated a desire to extend it for at least another year until 2024.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano gave an update on the 35-year-old’s contract situation on Tuesday.

‘Leo Messi will not make any decision on his future in the next weeks or months,’ Romano said.

‘[He is] focused on Paris Saint-Germain and then World Cup, [and] nothing will be decided or planned before the World Cup [in November].

‘Despite PSG new deal plans and Barca interest, Leo will not proceed before 2023.’

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