Barcelona’s Three Key Conditions for Lionel Messi’s Summer Return
Barcelona are set to make three demands of Lionel Messi if he wants to return to the Nou Camp in the summer.
Messi scored his 800th career goal on Thursday night, marking his emotional return to Argentina for the first time since the country’s World Cup victory.
Where he takes his next steps in his career is still up in the air, with his future at Paris Saint-Germain far from certain.
With his contract at the Parc des Princes expiring in June, some fans will be irritated by his anti-France chants while on international duty.
Fans of the Ligue 1 leaders were already dissatisfied with the 35-year-old after their recent Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.
The club wants to keep him and has begun contract negotiations, but the forward has yet to reach an agreement with the club.
He’s also been linked with Inter Miami in the MLS, as well as a possible law-changing reunion as Cristiano Ronaldo’s rival in Saudi Arabia, and Barcelona would like to see him return.
According to Mundo Deportivo, in order to return to the Nou Camp, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will have to make it clear that he wants to return, accept a smaller role in the team, and lower his salary.
Messi and Barcelona president Joan Laporta are reportedly at odds, so the club president wants Messi to make it clear that he wants to play there.
That information may have to come from Xavi, who is still close to the forward after years of playing and winning together.
The captaincy would not be handed back to the forward if he returned, with Robert Lewandowski, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Ronald Araujo now among the dressing room leaders.
And, given the club’s well-documented financial problems in recent years, lowering Messi’s wages could be the biggest impediment to his return.
Finances could also explain why PSG isn’t as concerned about losing him as they should be, as they continue to face FFP violations.
Messi’s choice of club could still be influenced by any charges brought against Barcelona as a result of corruption allegations in Spain.