Lionel Messi’s potential Barcelona return labelled a ‘farce’ as relationship with Blaugrana president Joan Laporta is ‘not the best’

Lionel Messi Joan LaportaGetty/GOAL
  • Argentine heading for the exits at PSG
  • Return to Camp Nou speculated on
  • Heading to the United States instead

WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner saw a retracing of steps to Camp Nou speculated on after it became apparent that he would not be signing a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain. Talks were held between the Liga champions and representatives of the Argentine icon, but no deal was done and he will now be heading to MLS to continue his remarkable career with Inter Miami. Canizares is not convinced that a second spell in Catalunya was ever on the cards, as Barca president Joan Laporta reportedly still has a frosty relationship with Blaugrana legend Messi.

WHAT THEY SAID: Canizares, who lined up against Messi during his 10-year spell as Valencia's goalkeeper, has told Despierta San Francisco of the latest transfer saga at Camp Nou: “Messi and Barça are more of a farce than anything else. Even if Messi wanted to come to Barca, it wouldn't have been the best thing to do. They would have forced him to be the same Messi as always, and that Messi was 10 years younger. I know that Laporta and Messi's relations are not the best. What sense would it make to bring him in, being more charismatic than him and receiving more affection. Any move Messi would have made could have done Laporta in. Not having this type of footballer, who is more than just a footballer, is a very dangerous thing to do. Nobody dares to speak ill of Messi in Barcelona. I think Barcelona have made few moves to get Messi back.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Plenty of prominent figures at Barca, including head coach Xavi, appeared to be leaving the door open for Messi to head back to his spiritual home, but no formal offer was ever tabled and the 35-year-old has revealed that he snubbed other offers from teams in Europe in order to head for the United States.

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WHAT NEXT? Messi is expected to link up with Inter Miami in early July, while Barcelona can now turn their attention to alternative targets in the summer transfer window – with the Liga title holders being linked with the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Joao Cancelo and Joshua Kimmich.