- The Barça club is internally analyzing how to associate Leo again, something that could range from paying him a great tribute and appointing him ambassador to signing him free in 2023
- That the Argentine returns to play would happen because he agreed to charge a not very high chip to square the ‘fair play’ and sometimes accept a secondary role
FC Barcelona is studying how to rebuild its relationship with Leo Messi (35 years old), one of the pending cases that President Laporta wants to attack sooner rather than later . At the moment, the club is analyzing internally how it could be articulated that Leo and Barça meet again in a satisfactory way, after the disagreement last year, when the club told the Argentine that it could not renew him, with the consequent displeasure of the crack.
This new relationship can take different forms: from organizing the great tribute that Messi deserves for his career and offering him to be a world ambassador, to even trying to sign him in the summer of 2023, when his contract with PSG ends . That goes through convincing Leo to return as a player, obviously, but first you have to analyze in detail if the operation would be viable.
For it to be, there would have to be enough salary space. It is also necessary to analyze how it would fit at the tactical and internal leadership level. In addition, both what the operation would cost and what it would report at the level of marketing, cache and merchandising are being analyzed. Xavi would welcome his return but he must harmonize it with a team that is under construction.
Leo awaits focused on PSG and preparing for a special World Cup for him. He has not ruled out a return when Barcelona has put the issue on the table and no one can escape the fact that he has a good friendship with Xavi. However, before thinking about hypotheses, he wants to see how the season is going with his club, how the World Cup is going and what doors will open for him when he approaches the end of his contract with a PSG that he is crazy about renewing.
Joan Laporta would like to rebuild his relationship and that of the club with Messi . In fact, it has been marked as a personal challenge, since he wants to fix what was broken on August 5, 2021, when he had to communicate to the greatest crack in the history of Barça that, after promising to renew him, he could not do it because there was no salary space. What the president would most like is to re-sign Messi as a player, but he is not an easy company for different reasons.
To day of today, and after the discrepancies and the distance of does a year, the relation Laporta-Messi would have begun to normalize. And it is that club sources point out that there has been a telephone message between the two, although they add that there has been no meeting. The player’s environment outright denies contacts even over the phone.
Barça wants to pay Messi the tribute he deserves with a full Camp Nou for everything he has given the club and because he will always be a culé icon . In addition, the club wants to find for him a role linked to Barça with which he feels more comfortable. The club’s idea is for him to become the world ambassador for FC Barcelona , although Leo would like to be the technical secretary one day.
As for the possibility of recovering him as a player, as Laporta and Xavi insinuated in the summer , they consider that he can return and say goodbye playing for Barça but provided that several conditions are met. Namely: that he returns with a fairly reduced salary and is willing to assume a role as a player that, depending on the coach’s decisions, may be secondary. And it is that the club highly values what Leo can contribute on the field but without covering up the projection of players like Pedri or Gavi , to give two examples, because Leo is seen playing in a slightly further back position.
For Messi to return to play for Barça , Laporta would have to take the step of asking Leo face to face and try to convince him. Of course, first the club is analyzing how the operation can be articulated. And that happens, in the first place, by lightening high salaries. There are several important players who still have high chips. This is the case of Gerard Piqué; Jordi Alba , which ends in 2024; Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay … Javier Tebas , president of LaLiga, has already warned that Barça , despite now having a staff cost limit of more than 600 million as a result of the levers, should reduce salary mass by more than200 million for the next season. Therefore, if Messi wants to charge a lot, the option that he would play again as a Barça player would be hardly viable.
On the positive side, the benefit that a return of Messi to Barça would give , a story that if it had a happy ending would be the bomb of next summer, is also being assessed. In fact, at Barça they believe that at the marketing level it would give many benefits and that the team’s cache would rise for friendlies and tours, apart from what can be obtained again by selling merchandising linked to Leo . At Barça they are convinced that the fans are mostly in favor of his return, as is Xavi .
At a tactical level, it is also being analyzed internally what a return of Messi would imply in relation to his fit in a drawing and in the making of the squad. It would be necessary to analyze well where he would play at 36 years old (he will be on June 23, 2023). That he does it as a false ‘9’ is complicated with Lewandowski in the squad, a classic striker. On the right wing it can also be difficult because Messi is supposed to go inside and could collide with the Polish striker. Placing Leo on the inside right to take advantage of his excellent quality to take the last pass would be a viable option or retouching the system so that he played as a midfielder, either in a 3-4-3 or in a 4-2-3- 1.
This yes, the return of Leo would force to sign a pivot and to a right side very powerful physically to guard the backs to him, according to the technicians.
At Barça there is the conviction that Messi would be excited to return to Barça , that an agreement could be reached financially and that Leo would not always ask to play. But those are assumptions and you have to endorse it knowing what the crack wants, that now at PSG he has a high record and is always a starter in Galtier ‘s eleven . As for his fit in the squad, the technical staff considers that, if he takes the step of returning, Messi would do so with renewed hopes and desire to join a group that would have already spent two years without him, although it is also true that friends like Busi and Alba may not be here next summer.