Barcelona to build Lionel Messi museum next to Camp Nou to help generate funds for club legend's summer transfer
- Messi linked with return to Barca
- Catalan club still need to raise funds
- New Messi museum would generate consistent income
WHAT HAPPENED? It is perhaps the most talked-about move of the impending summer window. With just a few months left on Messi's Paris Saint-Germain contract and the capital club reportedly happy to let him go, a return to his boyhood club appears to be increasingly on the cards. While Messi may have few other elite-level European clubs vying for his signature, the path back to Barca is not entirely clear, given the delicate economic situation they find themselves in.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: After it was reported that La Liga president Javier Tebas was awaiting a "feasibility plan" to bring about Messi's return, Spanish outlet AS have revealed a way in which this funding may be achieved. Plans are thought to be in place to convert the old headquarters of the famed youth academy, La Masia, situated next to Camp Nou, into a museum dedicated to their Argentine hero. Talks have reportedly already begun with telecommunications company Telefónica to make it become a reality.
AND WHAT'S MORE: The idea in principle is that the "interactive and immersive centre" will attract thousands of tourists and fans, thus generating a consistent income in order to be able to finance the signing of the PSG star. If these figures fall within Tebas' recently stipulated limits, then the La Liga chief will likely approve the transfer given the obvious commercial revenue - namely in TV rights - that the Argentina star brings to the league.
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WHAT NEXT? Barca themselves have been open about wanting their star man back, most recently in a dinner with current Blaugrana players. But the economic element of Messi's return is still key, while a potential renewal with PSG is not completely off the cards at this stage either.