It has been suggested that Barcelona’s all-time record goalscorer Lionel Messi could return to the Spanish giants in 2023, with Xavi Hernandez set to have the final say.
The Argentine left the Catalan club as a free agent in August 2021 before signing a two-year deal at Paris Saint-Germain, a contract that includes an option of a further year.
Since his untimely departure from the Camp Nou, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has often been linked with a move back to the Blaugrana, although the Spanish club’s financial situation means it is unlikely he returns for a transfer fee.
According to ESPN, the LaLiga side could look into luring the 34-year-old back to Spain on a free deal in 2023, but any agreement materialising is likely to depend on head coach Xavi.
It is claimed Barcelona would find it incredibly difficult to turn a potential return for Messi down, although president Joan Laporta has previously stated that it would need to make sense for Xavi’s project.
The 2021 Copa America winner’s debut season in Paris was one of more downs than ups, and he admitted to having struggled to adapt to life in a new city with his family.
Messi, however, is determined to make a success of his 2021 switch to France, having said in a recent interview he does not want to be considered a failed signing.
During his 18 years in Barcelona’s first team, the forward scored an unprecedented 670 goals and provided a further 302 assists in 776 appearances, winning a club-record 35 trophies along the way.
Here is where Messi currently ranks among the 10 highest-paid players in world football: