Barcelona president Joan Laporta issues fresh update on Lionel Messi pursuit

Joan Laporta has confirmed Barcelona’s intention to bring Lionel Messi back to Camp Nou from PSG, suggesting they have a moral debt to the Argentine.

Spanish publication SPORT has quoted some of Joan Laporta’s recent comments. The Barcelona president has confirmed the Catalan club’s desire to re-sign Lionel Messi. But he has seemingly suggested that the Blaugrana will bring the veteran attacker back to Camp Nou on a free transfer next summer.

Lionel Messi is inarguably the finest player in Barcelona’s long and storied history. During his stint with the Blaugrana, the 35-year-old racked up a mind-boggling record, amassing 672 goals and 301 assists in 778 appearances. But Messi’s spell with Barcelona ended in tears, as he reluctantly departed from Camp Nou due to the Catalan club’s inability to hand him a new contract.

Barcelona wanted to renew terms with Messi and had everything agreed with their former club captain. But La Liga rules and regulations meant they had no chance of tying the veteran Argentine attacker to a new contract. And Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain following an emotional departure last summer.

The former Barcelona captain endured a topsy turvy campaign at Parc des Princes last season, as he managed 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 appearances for PSG – sub-par by his lofty standards. PSG fans also hurled jeers at him following Les Parisiens’ ouster from the UEFA Champions League.

But Messi ended the 2021/22 season strongly and hopes to enjoy a much better campaign in 2022/23. However, the 35-year-old has entered his PSG contract’s second and final year, and speculation surrounding his future has been growing like wildfire. And amid all this, Joan Laporta has confirmed Barcelona’s intention to re-sign Messi.

“I did what I had to do in order to put the institution above the best player in history. I’ve known Messi since he was a kid, I love Leo. I feel a moral debt to the best player in history. I’ll do my best to make sure Messi has the best ending of his career with Barcelona. I would like to do it.”

“It will not be easy but I think that with the correct strategy we could do it. We will do our best to have Messi ending his career with Barcelona. This is an idea that we have. Now is not the best moment to talk about it since he is a player of PSG and he has one more year on his contract. We have to respect it.”

Barcelona’s financial health is much better this summer than in 2021, but they might still need to move some pieces before bringing Messi back to Camp Nou. Xavi Hernandez has asked Joan Laporta to work on a deal to re-sign the Argentine international, and it will not be surprising to see him return to the Catalan club next year.

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