- Lionel Messi is reportedly set to return to Barcelona next summer
- Messi’s departure to Paris Saint-Germain was the biggest story of last year
- The return of the Argentine superstar will certainly be welcomed with open arms
Barcelona fans could welcome their prodigal son Lionel Messi back to Camp Nou by next summer, according to the latest reports.
Veronica Brunati of Telemundo Deportes posted a short tweet that sent fans into a frenzy.
“On July 1, 2023, Lionel Messi will be a Barca player He wrote.
Messi left Barcelona on exactly the same date in 2021 after negotiations with the club broke down over financial issues arising from Spain’s La Liga rules on player contracts.
It was initially reported at the time that Messi had reached a verbal agreement with Barcelona for a massive 50 percent pay cut in order to stay at the club.
The idea of him staying became stronger when Barcelona were set to receive a cash infusion worth $332 million as part of La Liga’s recovery from the global pandemic.
However, all hope was lost when the club announced that Messi would have to leave regardless of the amount of money he was going to get from the league’s partnership with CVC Capital Partners.
It is worth noting that Messi’s agreement to stay at Barcelona with a huge pay cut and the announcement of his departure happened on the same day.
Due to the circumstances, French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain were in “direct contact” with the Argentine superstar before he was announced as their newest signing.
Despite Barcelona’s efforts to keep hold of Messi, an exit was almost certain and he found himself in France to form a formidable attacking trio of former Barcelona team-mate Neymar and French star Kylian Mbappe.
Paris Saint-Germain won the Ligue 1 title after staying ahead of second-placed Marseille by 15 points, with Mbappe ending the season as the league’s top scorer with 28.
Messi, however, struggled in his maiden season away from Camp Nou as he only found the net six times.
The possibility of Messi returning to Barcelona was raised when the club’s financial vice-president Eduard Romeu spoke to Catalunya Radio recently.
“It would be possible financially because if he came back, it would be as a free agent. But it’s a decision that has to be made by the coaching staff and the player. It doesn’t suit me [to make those decisions]but it would be sustainable,” he explained in Spanish as it was later translated.
Seeing Messi return to the hallowed grounds of Camp Nou would be a welcome turn of events for the La Liga powerhouse, who are currently level with Real Madrid in the standings – although the Catalans have the advantage on goal difference .
Messi is entering the twilight of his career at the age of 35 (36 next June) and his homecoming would be an incredible sight for the Barcelona faithful.