Barcelona confirm Lionel Messi approach
Barcelona, Spain, Mar 31 (EFE).- Barcelona have been in contact with Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi over a potential return to the Camp Nou, vice president Rafa Yuste said Friday.
Messi, Barcelona’s record goal scorer and former captain, left the Catalan side in 2021 after the club said it could not offer him a new contract as it was mired in financial difficulties.
At a press conference to present the Barça Academy World Cup tournament, Yuste said he has “a lot of respect” for the French club, with whom Messi is under contract until June, although he did not hide the fact that, on a personal level, he would like the player to don the famous claret and blue jersey again.
“I have always had the thorn in my side that Leo could not continue at Barça. Of course I would love for him to return,” said Yuste, adding that the “love affair is mutual” and “fate is wise and makes you return to where you belong.”
Yuste acknowledged that Barcelona president Joan Laporta had recently met with Messi’s father and said that the club has a “good relationship” with the superstar’s entourage.
But he added that Messi’s possible return to the Camp Nou would depend on the club’s economic situation, which is heavily conditioned by the financial fair play regulations imposed by LaLiga.
Although Yuste is in favor of Messi’s return, he said there is no “plan of attack” to re-sign him.
Barcelona head coach, Messi’s former teammate Xavi Hernandez, said “now is not the moment” to contemplate the Argentine superstar’s return, but that he would be “the first” who would wish for such an outcome.
Yuste’s statements come after several Barcelona players, such as Marc-André ter Stegen and Sergi Roberto, spoke out in favor of Messi returning to the Camp Nou.
After graduating from the famed La Masia academy, Messi scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona, winning 34 trophies. EFE