- Laporta fuels Messi links
- Player left in summer 2021
- Yet to agree new deal to stay with PSG
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi, now at PSG, left Barcelona in 2021 after the club were unable to sign him to a new contract due to a litany of financial issues. Rumours of the Argentine's return to his boyhood club have emerged in recent times, with the club refusing to publicly rule out the chance that Messi could play at Camp Nou in a Barca shirt again.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Laporta suggested that the Catalans need to keep a good relationship with the player in an interview with The business and money behind sports: "Messi is the best player in history. He has been the most important player in the history of Barca. I have to be very careful with what I say.
"Messi is a PSG player and I have to have respect. Leo knows we have him in our hearts. He is part of our shield. The legacy I found myself when I became president was not good and I had to make a decision that I'm not satisfied with. I have to find a way to improve Messi's current relationship with Barca. We'll see, but he knows that the doors of Barca are open."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi's contract expires at the end of the season. Although he was reported to have verbally agreed to stay in Paris back in December, the two sides are yet to agree on the specifics of a deal. The Argentine is expected to have options from Saudi Arabian clubs and MLS's Inter Miami this summer, although Sergio Aguero has gone public with his claim that Laporta needs to make the call to bring his best friend back to Camp Nou.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Messi will be a regular for PSG for the rest of the year as they hunt down a Ligue 1 title. The Parisians have a seven-point lead over second-placed Marseille, and play Lyon next Sunday on their return from the international break.