As we hurtle headlong into the last knockings of the Spanish league season, talk is already rife as to which transfers the club are going to make in order to keep Barca competitive in 2023-24 and beyond.
In order to stay the right side of La Liga’s Financial Fair Play edict, Joan Laporta and his board will again have to get creative, and that’s before talks have even begun regarding bringing Lionel Messi back into the fold.
It’s certainly a romantic notion.
The best player of this, nay any generation, returning home to finish what he started before riding off into the sunset.
The way in which Messi’s time ended at Barcelona was regrettable and there’s clearly a feeling of unfinished business.
Can Laporta’s clear desire to hook Messi and absolve himself of the ills he himself created be reason enough to acquire the Argentinian?
Financially, if Leo were to take the pay cut that it’s believed he would need to in order to rejoin the club, it might not be the worst deal in the world.
Commercially the benefits are obvious, and whilst playing at the Estadio Olimpic Lluis Companys next season Barca will need all the help they can get in that regard.
It’s on the pitch where Messi’s presence could create an issue.
Players will clearly need to leave in order to make space in the wage bill, and others who might’ve been considered guaranteed starters in his absence, will also have to make way.
Upsetting the equilibrium of any team has proven to be an unhealthy strategy in the past, let alone one that’s in its infancy but who are progressing nicely under Xavi.
Barca have shown that they can win the league in his absence, with confirmation that the destination of this season’s title is heading back to Camp Nou just a game or two away.
Can Messi’s inclusion win the Champions League for the club one more time before he finishes his career in Europe? Unlikely, unless the squad is significantly strengthened in other areas.
He will make the team tick, and it’s arguable a team with him in it is better than one that is sans Leo - but is that enough?
The thought that keeps nagging away is that this is a pet project of Laporta’s in order to win back the ground he lost when dropping the bomb back in 2021 that the club could no longer afford Leo.
From a personal perspective, seeing Leo back in the blaugrana would be a dream, but none of us really want his memory tainted if such a move turned into a nightmare for any number of reasons.
Of course, were money to be the main driver in any deal, then Messi won’t touch Barca with a barge pole anyway, and will renew rivalries with Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.