Wed, 31 May 2023

MADRID, March 24 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta on Friday opened the door for a possible return to the club for Leo Messi.

Messi is out of contract with PSG this summer.

Laporta insisted that the 35-year-old (who will be 36 in June) Messi "has the doors of Barca open."

"Messi is the greatest player in history. He has been the most important player in Barca's history, although I have to be careful in what I say, as Messi is a PSG player and I have to respect that," said the Barca president.

Although Laporta said he needed to be "careful", that didn't stop Laporta from adding: "Leo knows that we have him in our hearts and he is part of our club badge."

Laporta also looked back on Messi's departure from FC Barcelona in the summer of 2021, when it was impossible to fit his new contract into a wage structure defined by spending limits imposed by La Liga.

"The situation I found when I returned as president wasn't good and I had to make a decision that I am not satisfied with," he said.

"I have to find the way to improve the current relationship between Messi and Barca. We will see what happens, but he knows Barca's doors are open for him," concluded Laporta.

Messi's return is far from easy, and will depend on Barca lowering their current wage bill.

The ongoing investigations into the "Negreira case", which involves possible match-fixing, could also have both financial and implications, with the news that UEFA has opened its own investigation, opening the door to Barca's possible exclusion from European competitions.

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