Lionel Messi, who last week played his last game for Paris St Germain, is open to making a return to LaLiga side Barcelona, the Argentine forward’s father said on Monday.
Barca were forced to let their talisman leave in 2021 because his high wages coupled with strict LaLiga financial rules could have jeopardised the club’s future.
Messi, who joined Barcelona’s youth set-up aged 13 and went on to become the club’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker with 672 goals in 778 games in all competitions, moved to PSG as a free agent on a two-year contract.
Barcelona’s finances have slightly improved since then, but according to LaLiga, they are still over the cap and remain unable to register new contracts signed months ago, including defender Ronald Araujo and midfielder Gavi.
The LaLiga champions’ president Joan Laporta has often spoken of his desire to bring Messi back to Camp Nou, but any move for the 35-year-old would likely further complicate their ability to adhere to Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
“Leo wants to return to Barca and I would also like him to return. We are confident that Leo can come back,” Messi’s father Jorge said in an interview with Twitch channel Jijantes FC.
Messi, who led Argentina to the World Cup title in Qatar and also boasts a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, won the Ligue 1 title in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons with PSG as well as the French Super Cup in July 2022.
However, he opted not to renew his deal with the Ligue 1 champions.
His future has been the subject of much speculation recently, with a source close to the Argentina captain telling Reuters that he had received a formal offer to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal next season.
A move to Saudi Arabia would see him once again playing in the same league as rival and Al Nassr star Cristiano Ronaldo, while Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is also expected to complete a move to the Middle Eastern nation.
The United States’ Major League Soccer club Inter Miami have also been touted as a possible destination for Messi.