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Spanish Soccer Expert Explains Why Lionel Messi Returning To Barcelona "Feels Like An Impossibility"

Spanish soccer expert Guillem Balague would be very surprised if Lionel Messi rejoined Barcelona this summer.

Messi left the Camp Nou to sign for Paris Saint-Germain in August 2021, after financial problems at Barcelona had made it impossible for the club to offer the Argentina captain a contract extension that complied with La Liga rules.

The 35-year-old's current PSG contract is due to expire in June and it is no secret that Barcelona would love to bring him back on a free transfer.

But Barcelona's financial situation is still very delicate.

According to Balague, Barca must cut their current €600 million wage bill by around €200m in order to be able to offer new contracts to any players, including those already at the club.

This will be a difficult process and one that is likely to take time.

Balague tweeted on Monday morning: "The return of Messi to Barcelona looks less and less likely. Let me get my thoughts together and I will explain why it feels like an impossibility".

Later in the day, Balague wrote in a column for BBC Sport: "Can Messi return to Barca? He could, if he decided to take the step of returning, plus he would give all the facilities in the world for that to happen because he knows the club's situation.

"However, it is now May and there is still no offer from Barca. Plus La Liga has 'no idea' if Barcelona is going to propose something to fit with their financial fair play rules which they must follow 'to the letter'.

"All this points to one thing: Messi is not going to return to Barcelona."

He added: "Messi's commitment to PSG ends this summer, and with no movement on extending his stay in France, Barcelona want him back.

"However, the dreams of just about everyone at the club crash head-on with the stark reality."

Lionel Messi pictured during Barcelona's 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo in May 2021, his final game for the club prior to his transfer to PSG

Lionel Messi pictured during Barcelona's 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo in May 2021, his final game for the club prior to his transfer to PSG

Barcelona are not the only team keen to sign Messi.

There is an offer on the table for him to extend his stay in Paris, while Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Hilal are also known admirers of the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Messi is a Barcelona legend. He has made more appearances, 778, and scored more goals, 672, for Barca than any other player in the club's 123-year history.