Maradona's son: I am convinced Messi will return to Barcelona

LIONEL MESSI PSGGetty Images

Diego Maradona's son Diego Sinagra has expressed his belief that Lionel Messi will return to Barcelona - perhaps even as soon as in the summer transfer window.

Messi began his career at Barca back in 2004 and went on to help the club win 34 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League.

The Argentina international also won seven Ballon d'Or awards at Camp Nou while becoming the club's all-time top goalscorer, but they had to let him go due to a financial crisis last summer - with Paris Saint-Germain subsequently snapping him up on a free transfer.

What's been said?

Messi has so far failed to transfer his best form to Parc des Princes, scoring just seven goals in his first 22 games for Mauricio Pochettino's side.

Sinagra, the son of Argentine legend Maradona, believes that the 34-year-old still belongs with Barca and can see him retracing his steps when the transfer window reopens.

“I am convinced that Leo Messi will return to Barca. Maybe this coming summer," Maradona Jr, who is currently the head coach of lower league Italian outfit Napoli United, has told Diario Sport. "He doesn't look happy there. 

"Obviously he is a great player and when you play like that you show it wherever he is. But his place is Barcelona, ​​without a doubt."

Barca have slipped to fourth in La Liga and out of the Champions League since Messi's departure, but Sinagra thinks they have been unfairly criticised and are in good shape after some smart January business.

“What club was not going to suffer his loss? For me they are coping well," he added. "If I say that Barça plays with [Ousmane] Dembélé, [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran [Torres], with [Adama] Traoré and [Frenkie] De Jong, it's a team."

Sinagra was also pressed on how Messi compares to his father in the annals of football history, to which he replied: "My old man has no comparison. And not only in Argentina, they compared it all over the world but it doesn't make sense. For me, after my old man, Messi comes in the history of football."

Could Messi return to Barca?

It appears unlikely that Messi will re-sign for Barca this year, given he is contracted to PSG until the end of the 2022-23 season and has the option of an extra season in Paris.

However, the diminutive forward has already said that he wants to return to Camp Nou at some stage, whether that's in a playing capacity or a boardroom role post-retirement.

"I always said that I would love to be able to help the club," Messi said in November.

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"I would love to be a technical secretary at some point. I don't know if it will be at Barcelona or not. Or if it will be elsewhere. 

"If there is a possibility, I would like to contribute again in what I can because it is the club that I love and I would love for it to continue to be good, to continue growing and to continue being one of the best in the world."

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