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Papers: Barcelona working on ‘project Messi’

Could the GOAT really return next season?

Argentina Training Session Photo by Gustavo Pagano/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly thinking about how they can bring Lionel Messi back to the club next year after his contract expires at Paris Saint-Germain.

The GOAT is on the front page of Mundo Deportivo who reckon the Catalans want to rebuild their relationship with the Argentina international.

MD reckon Xavi “would welcome” Messi’s return and Barca are trying to find out if there’s room financially for the forward to come back.

President Joan Laporta also wants Messi back as a player but is also thinking about other roles the 35-year-old could assume at the club. Laporta also wants the club to pay tribute to Messi, something that hasn’t happened yet since his shock exit.

The report reckons if Messi came back as a player then he would have to accept a reduced salary and be willing to take a “secondary” role. Barca don’t want his return to mean that youngsters like Pedri and Gavi end up on the bench.

MD also speculate about where Messi might play. It’s claimed playing as a false 9 or a striker might be tricky with Lewandowski around and a suggestion Messi could end up in midfield in a 3-4-3 or in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Barca may have to offload a few high earners in the summer to make room for Messi but are optimistic he could be tempted back and “that an agreement could be reached financially and Leo would not always ask to play.”

Messi’s contract is up at the end of the season and his future intentions aren’t clear. It’s previously been reported that he won’t make any decisions on where he’ll play next season until after the World Cup.

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