Lionel Messi’s return to Barcelona is looking like a real possibility. The Catalan club’s vice-president Rafael Yuste and manager Xavi are rooting for the dream move, getting the Argentine legend back to Camp Nou.
Yuste confirmed that Barcelona are in contact with Messi and are willing to go above and beyond to add him to their squad. The World Cup winner spent 17 years with the club before bidding a tearful farewell in 2021. Ronald Koeman, who was the manager then, and co could not afford the No 10 on their payroll then. He joined Paris Saint Germain to join hands with former teammate Neymar Jr.
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However, Messi’s PSG contract expires this summer. With the French giants, the 35-year-old has won two trophies. However, his Champions League drought has continued.
“Leo and his family know the affection I have for them,” Yuste said on Friday.
“I participated in the negotiations which unfortunately did not lead to a certain result. I’ve always had and I have this thorn in my side that Leo couldn’t continue at our club. Messi knows how much we appreciate him. I would love for him to come back. We’re in contact, of course, with them.”
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 18 goals and assisted 17 times in 32 appearances across competitions for PSG this season.
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As per Spanish new outlet Mundo Deportivo, Xavi plans to play Messi in the midfield, going with a 4-3-3 formation. This means, he could take over as a false left winger – a role Pablo Gavi has been playing right now.
How will Barcelona pay Messi?
Lionel Messi, as per multiple media reports, is set to agree to a massive wage cut to rejoin Barcelona. The Argentine will likely get a one-year deal with an optional year, with €6-7 million in wages per season.
Barca can also pay Messi by other means. All funds from a possible tribute game to Messi at Camp Nou can go to the Argentine talisman.