Barcelona’s “doors are open” for Lionel Messi to return to the club, according to president Joan Laporta.
Messi joined Barca at the age of 13, going on to enjoy a hugely successful spell with the Catalan giants that saw him lift 10 LaLiga titles and win the Champions League on four occasions.
Barca’s financial troubles meant Messi left the club in 2021, signing with French side Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal with the option to extend it for a third.
However, Messi is yet to agree to the extension and with his existing deal due to run out at the end of this season, there are rumours he could make a shock return to Camp Nou, with close friend and former team-mate Sergio Aguero rating the probability of Messi returning to Barca at “50 per cent”.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 22, 2023
Messi scored his 800th career goal with a stunning free-kick as Argentina returned to action after World Cup glory in Qatar with a 2-0 victory over Panama on Thursday.
Laporta says the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is welcome to rejoin Barca, telling YouTube show The Business and Money Behind Sports: “Messi is the best player in history. He has been the most important player in the history of Barca.
“I have to be very careful with what I say. Messi is a PSG player and I have to have respect.
“Leo knows we have him in our hearts. He is part of our emblem. The legacy I found myself in when I became president was not good, and I had to make a decision that I’m not satisfied with. I have to find a way to improve Messi’s current relationship with Barca.
“We’ll see, but he knows that the doors of Barca are open.”
Messi’s Argentina are back in action on Tuesday against Curacao, when the 35-year-old will have the opportunity to score his 100th goal for La Albiceleste, having reached 99 with his historic strike against Panama.