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Lionel Messi’s father: “Leo wants to return to Barcelona”

Barcelona have met with Messi’s father to discuss a move.

(From L) Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain's Argentine forward Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar leave after celebrating team's French L1 2022-2023 championship following the L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Clermont Foot 63 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on June 3, 2023. (Photo by Alain JOCARD / POOL / AFP)

FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta and Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, met at Laporta’s house this morning, according to journalist Toni Juanmartí. The pair arranged the meeting to negotiate the possible return of the World Cup winner. Jijantes also managed to speak to Jorge Messi regarding his son’s future. “Leo wants to return to Barça and I would also like him to return. We are confident that Leo can return. I don’t know anything yet... He would love to (return to Barça). Of course, he would like to come back. We have to talk about a million things, but he would love to come back,” said the player’s father.

Messi is top of the club’s current list of objectives, but Barça were, at least until today, pessimistic about their chances of landing the Argentine forward. After winning the league with PSG, Messi wants to make a decision now and the club is not yet in a position to assure the Argentinian that he will be signed. On Sunday, the usually optimistic Laporta, said: “It’s very difficult”.

LaLiga won’t give the Catalan club any leeway in trying to sign their former No 10, who is not willing to go through the same situation of uncertainty as in 2021, when he flew from Ibiza to Barcelona to sign his new contract only to find Laporta excusing himself because he did not fit within the salary cap.

Saudi offer for Messi

Late last week, the club hinted that they are still hopeful of convincing Messi and that the Argentinian would not make a decision until a final meeting with Barça. Saudi club Al Hilal want to announce the signing of Messi this week, however, Laporta - a specialist in desperate situations - is trying to complete the signing and the meeting with Messi senior could help. Xavi, who is currently in Japan, is in closest contact with Messi and will be the first to hear from both sides.