With Lionel Messi yet to renew his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, the uncertainty surrounding his future have only fueled rumors about a potential departure.
While Inter Miami has been strongly linked with a move for the Argentinian superstar, Barcelona continue to be in the mix.
Adding fuel to the fire is the recent comments made by his former teammates about a possible return.
“Who is not going to be ready for Leo’s return? We don’t want to talk too much because that’s something for the coach, the president and him to decide, but we, the players, are already waiting for him with open arms,” Sergi Roberto said after the win over Real Madrid.
Prior to El Clasico, Marc-Andre ter Stegen also chimed in about a possible reunion between Messi and Barcelona.
“If Messi doesn’t come back, it will be bad because he has done great things over here in the last few years and everyone is happy whenever they hear his name linked with Barcelona,” Ter Stegen said.
What makes his word somewhat surprising is the supposed conflict between the two that led to a falling out. Based on his comment, that appears to be water under the bridge. Then again, it could also have something to do with the fact Barcelona are having a good season domestically speaking.
A few days earlier, Ronald Araújo also gave his thoughts and was perhaps the clearest of them all.
"“I would love it if he could come back. He is the best player in the world and this is his home. His return would help us a lot to try to win another Champions League. Hopefully there are chances to have him again. We all want him by our side.”Source: Goal via infobae"
The relationship between Messi and Joan Laporta and his board has appeared to soften somewhat after it, understandably, broke when he had to leave Barcelona two seasons ago.
Adding even more credence that a potential return is even more likely is the relationship between Messi and PSG fans is frosty at best after the latter booed Messi in their loss against Rennes. It’s also believed despite two years in France, his family has yet to adapt to their new surroundings.
Even if both parties are interested in “one last dance,” it is going to take an extremely valiant effort from Barcelona to make it happen. Their wage bill continues to be a problem and they are going to have to move on a number of players to reduce it and adhere to LaLiga’s limits.
But they are going to try to figure something out if there is an openness from Messi to return. He wants to stay at least one more year in Europe with the Champions League his top priority.
Given Barcelona’s improvements and the fact they are going to try to strengthen further to make a run in the Champions League once more, should Messi come back, he could have that storybook ending he and Barcelona fans have been dreaming of since he left.