It hasn’t worked out quite as planned for Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi, with the French side failing to get past the Round of 16 in the Champions League since he arrived. With 100 days to go until his contract expires with PSG, there is increasing uncertainty over where he will be playing his football next season.
Messi is said to have doubts about PSG’s project for next season, with little certainty over who will be the manager. Christophe Galtier is under heavy pressure. In addition, Messi feels as if Barcelona is still his home, which is understandable after spending two decades there.
Meanwhile PSG are also facing financial fairplay issues, and Messi’s salary is likely to at least reach towards that of Kylian Mbappe, which might decrease their desire to keep him.
After El Clasico on Sunday night, Sergi Roberto declared that Messi would be welcomed with open arms if he were to return. Speaking to Sport, Jordi Alba has also confirmed that he feels it would be good for all involved if he did come back.
“I would like him to come back, but I don’t know if he will come back. We haven’t talked about it, because he has a contract with PSG. I hope he returns. It would be good for the club and for him.”
Alba admitted that Messi had struggled to adapt in his first season in Paris, but says he is not more at home in France.
“He is happy in Paris. The first year he did not have a good time, it was difficult for him to adapt to life there, but I have spoken with him and this year he has been much better.”
The pair had dinner together with Sergio Busquets and their partners in February at a restaurant in Barcelona, and clearly keep in touch.
On Messi’s departure itself, Alba’s description sounds akin to what many Cules went through too.
“I had a terrible time. The day it was announced I spoke to him that morning and he told me that he was travelling from Ibiza to sign. I saw the news with my wife and I didn’t believe it. I was perplexed for two minutes. It was hard, because we have a magnificent relationship. I couldn’t believe Leo was leaving Barca.”
The finances are what will scupper any deal for Messi, with the Blaugrana needing to reduce their wage bill by around €200m this summer without recruiting the Argentine. Should President Joan Laporta be able to make the numbers fit though, he has made no secret of the fact that like Alba and Roberto, he would be delighted to see Messi return.
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