Barcelona learning from their mistakes? Blaugrana to demand signed guarantee from La Liga that Lionel Messi can be registered
- Barca lead race to re-sign 35-year-old
- Assurances sought over La Liga salary cap
- Saudi Arabian clubs also linked with Messi
WHAT HAPPENED? The Catalan club are keen to re-sign the Argentine legend this summer, with it all-but certain that he'll leave Paris Saint-Germain upon the expiry of his contract. But Spanish media outlet Sport claim Barca want assurances from the league on its plan to lower the salary limit.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Of course, Messi left Barcelona in 2021 – confirming his departure in tears at a press conference – after the club's financial problems meant that they couldn't register him with La Liga and he duly joined the French giants instead.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Reports suggest negotiations have not yet begun between Barcelona and Messi's entourage, with club officials to meet with La Liga president Javier Tebas to iron out the salary cap rules and whether Messi is a viable signing under the current regulations. Barcelona have exceeded their salary cap by a huge amount in the past season or two and Tebas has said the Blaugrana must slash wages before any new signings or contract renewals can be completed.
Messi, now 35, wouldn't incur a transfer fee, as his PSG contract is up, but he and his father Jorge will demand significant wages in any deal.
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DID YOU KNOW? Barcelona's recent 2022/23 title success was their first since Messi's departure. The Argentina captain is on the verge of picking up a second Ligue 1 winner's medal with PSG but he's not lifted the Champions League since 2015 with Barca.
WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? If a return to Barcelona doesn't materialise, Saudi Arabia looks like the most likely destination for the seven-time Ballon D'Or winner. Al-Hilal have been most closely linked with a swoop.