Lionel Messi is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain next summer and despite Barcelona's public statements on his return, a contract extension appears more likely
Lionel Messi's contract at PSG expires next year
Lionel Messi has had no contact with Barcelona over a possible return to the club with Paris Saint-Germain hopeful of extending his contract.
Messi joined PSG on a two-year contract a year ago from the Catalan giants as a free agent, but Barca’s economic vice president Eduard Romeu has recently suggested that a sensational return to the Camp Nou for the Argentine would be possible.
Romeu’s comments followed similar endorsements from Barca boss Xavi Hernandez and, notably, club president Joan Laporta. They have all talked up the possibility of a sensational return to the club for Messi, but this public stance appears to be at odds with their approach behind the scenes.
As things stand, nobody from Barcelona has made contact with Messi over the possibility of a return and indeed, as highlighted by Marca, there is a cold and distant relationship between the two. The Argentine is still deeply unhappy at the manner of his exit from the club a year ago – when he felt misled by the board and did not approve of the way the situation was handled.
For there to be a possibility of Messi returning, there would need to be changes on and off the pitch at Barca for there to be a situation whereby the 35-year-old wishes to return. In addition to such a personal stumbling block, Barca would need to find further revenue streams before bringing the Argentine superstar back into the squad.
In fact, there appears to be a greater possibility that Messi will renew his contract at PSG. As outlined by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, he has been offered a new deal at the Parc des Princes on his current terms for an additional year plus the option of a further season.
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This is despite Barca’s economic vice president Romeu telling El Mati de Catalunya Radio: "It would be possible financially because if he returned it would be as a free agent. But it's a decision which has to be made by the coaching staff and the player. It doesn't correspond to me [to make those decisions], but it would be viable. Although I don't have it in the budget.”
This follows comments from the club president Laporta, who went harder on the possibility of a return for Messi: "We have a moral debt with him in this sense. We would like the end of his career to be with the Barça shirt and being applauded in all fields."
Asked whether he would want Messi to return to the Nou Camp, Barca boss Xavi told reporters: "Yes, but at the moment, Leo has a contract with another club, so it’s impossible. It’s impossible. It doesn’t make sense talking about Messi now."