Spanish soccer expert Guillem Balague expresses his disbelief regarding the potential return of Lionel Messi to Barcelona this summer. Messi had departed from Camp Nou to join Paris Saint-Germain in August 2021. Barcelona’s financial troubles prevented them from offering him a contract extension that adhered to La Liga regulations.
Currently, Messi’s contract with PSG is set to expire in June, and Barcelona is eager to bring him back on a free transfer. However, Barcelona continues to face delicate financial circumstances. Balague states that in order to offer new contracts to any players, including those already at the club, Barcelona must reduce their existing €600 million wage bill by approximately €200 million. This process is anticipated to be challenging and time-consuming.
In a tweet, Balague mentions that the likelihood of Messi returning to Barcelona diminishes by the day. He promises to explain the reasons behind this perception further. In a subsequent column for BBC Sport, Balague says “Messi could return to Barcelona if he decides to take that step, the club has not made an offer as of May.” Additionally, La Liga remains uncertain if Barcelona will propose a plan that complies strictly with their financial fair play rules.
The return of Messi to Barcelona looks less and less likely. Let me get my thoughts together and I will explain why it feels like an impossibility pic.twitter.com/MjI6bpNU4W— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) May 1, 2023
Lionel Messi’s Barcelona Homecoming Unlikely
All indications point to one conclusion: Messi will not be returning to Barcelona. Balague emphasizes that Messi’s commitment to PSG concludes this summer, and with no progress in extending his stay in France, Barcelona desires his return. However, the club’s aspirations clash with the harsh reality they face. Notably, other teams, including PSG and Saudi Pro League’s Al-Hilal, are also interested in signing Messi.
Messi’s legacy at Barcelona is unrivaled. With 778 appearances and 672 goals, he holds the record for the most games played and goals scored by any player in the club’s 123-year history.