Messi's PSG contract expires in June and everyone wants to know what comes next
Joan Laporta wants Lionel Messi to return to Barcelona and will do everything possible to make it possible. Another thing is pulling it off. Although knowing the president, he won't give up while there is a chance. In fact, it's his dream to give Messi the homage he deserves in stadiums around Spain and Europe.
Laporta dreams of the perfect send off for the best player ever. The aim is to turn the page on the sad images that marked Messi's 2021 exit due to the club's financial situation. For Messi to come back, though, wounds have to be healed first.
I am informed that Laporta is on it. With the utmost discretion, because if there is one thing Messi doesn't like it is his name being used in vain. The Barça president is aware of the financial and sporting -- and even institutional -- difficulties but is convinced he can overcome them. The vice president Eduard Romeu was asked about the issue on Thursday and said: "We know how to produce miracles."
The three miracles
Barça don't need one miracle but three for Messi to come home. The first is that he wants to return, something we presume he will but he has neither announced nor leaked anything yet. The second is that his signing fits within the clubs financial limits as Barça still battled to reduce their wage bill to 500 million euros. And the third is that he fits Xavi's project, although we all know the Barça coach would welcome him back with open arms.
However, in this equation, there are three parties. As well as Barça, PSG have their own interests, as does Messi. The French club want to keep him and will offer him a new one-year deal with the option for another season on the same salary he earns at the moment, around 30 million euros net. Messi has become an icon for the French side, who have made a lot of money on the Argentina star. Messi sells and is big business for PSG, who don't want to let him slip from their hands.
And what does Leo think? Well, he doesn't want to make any decision until after the World Cup. He has three options: return to Barça, stay at PSG or move to the United States. Although he would not rule out other destinations completely. For now, he is focused on this season alone and the World Cup with Argentina.
Messi feels more comfortable at PSG all the time. He is in great form: eight goals and eight assists in 13 games. The French side lead Ligue 1 with eight wins and one draw from nine games and are top of their Champions League group. Messi's objective is, without any doubt, to win what would be a historic Ligue 1-Champions League double with PSG, who have never won the European Cup, something Barça themselves have not won since 2015.
On the pitch, Messi is happier than ever with his decision to move to the French club, while on a personal level he is getting used to his new life in Paris after a year of adaption. Until January, then, it's a waiting game... although sources close to the player suggest a decision will take longer. Patience is required because, for as much pressure as there is from all directions, Messi's future will be decided by one person: Messi.