Three things that must happen for Leo Messi to come back to Barca


Three things that must happen for Leo Messi to come back to Barca

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The Argentine star is wanted by the Catalans and is not sure about staying at PSG

Lionel Messi is still, as of today, a PSG player. He will remain so until June 30 at the latest. Unless Qatar can achieve a renewal that seemed to be sealed near the end of 2022, but which has stalled, dangerously for the interests of the Parisians. The Argentina No 10 has not given the nod and it is his stance that continues to fuel all kinds of speculation about his future. 

Obviously, the world champion will not be short of offers to continue playing elsewhere, but Leo, at the moment, is in the observation phase because he has not made a firm decision on what to do from next season onwards. One of those options, of course, is Barça, although it is a possibility that, as of today, remains very distant and complicated to make happen. For it to become a reality, three things must happen:

To say "yes, I do"

A year after the burofax and Joan Laporta's return to the presidency, everything was agreed for the Argentine star to sign what was to be his last contract with Barça to finish his career as a footballer at the highest level dressed in blaugrana and at the Camp Nou. The club, at the last minute, backed out and Messi had to find his own way elsewhere, and left for PSG. Now, after winning the World Cup, he has the chance to return to the path he left before it finished.

It will not be easy because there is a lack of concreteness on all sides. Above all on the part of Barça, who is the one who must take the step to recover the best footballer in the history of the club. For the moment, much ado about nothing. But Leo must also make a decision on the matter, even before the club moves. He has offers from half the world: from MLS to Saudi Arabia, including, obviously, a renewal offer with PSG.

He has not yet given his definitive yes, although emotionally there is, and he believes it, no better option than returning home. In that sense, the family plays an important role because both his wife and his children are looking forward to living in Barcelona again. However, the player, who is in charge of his career, has the final say. Leo speaks regularly with Xavi and the coach is also an important piece in this puzzle. The '10' already knows that the doors are open to him and that, of course, he fits perfectly into the coach's plans. 

It is these two assets that could end up tipping the balance in Barça's favour. Without Xavi and without the will of his family to return to Barcelona, the option of Messi returning to Camp Nou would be unfeasible.

Meeting between Laporta and Messi

Too many things happened and none of them were pleasant for Joan Laporta and the Argentine during the hours in which Barça decided they could not sign the player's renewal. Something very deep was broken between the president and Leo, whose previous relationship was very close, as evidenced by the fact that, for the first time since he arrived at Barça, Messi went to a presidential election to give his vote to Laporta. 

The '10' felt betrayed and his father, Jorge Messi, had a heated argument with the head of the club. Putting the pieces back together again is no easy task. It was seen, for example, at the gala of the last 'The Best'. It was a great opportunity for the two to begin to rebuild, with a simple gesture, the relationship, but they only saw each other from afar.

Those who know the two sides understand that the only way to put an end to so much tension is to organise a face-to-face meeting, where both sides, who have reproaches to make to the, in this case, opposing side, can talk about everything with the aim of burying the hatchet. The distance is deep, but, according to people close to them, both are adults and capable of understanding each other again if the objective is common and the beneficiary is Barça.

Fitting the operation into the Fair Play financial system

This is the third essential condition for Messi to return to Barça. The economic fit of this operation is probably the key to everything. Xavi wants him, Leo sees returning home as an attractive option and recovering a cordial relationship with Joan Laporta could be a matter of time, but it all depends on the cost. 

At the moment, Barça need to reduce their wage bill by 200 million. If Mateu Alemany does not achieve this, not only Messi, but any other signing would be practically unfeasible. For this it will be necessary to achieve big sales and salary reductions, even if the No 10 accepts that his wage can not be close to the level of the one he had before.

There is talk of imaginative formulas such as offering him a percentage of the profits made from his commercial return or even sponsors, but everything depends on LaLiga giving the go-ahead for his financial inclusion in the Barça first team.

The problems the club is having in registering Gavi, updating Araujo's contract and renewing Balde do not allow for optimism, but there is still time and a lot of work to be done. It is clear to all and sundry that reuniting the 'Barça' brand with the 'Leo Messi' brand would be one of the biggest stories in the history of football.

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