Lionel Messi will not return to Barcelona if he has to play a secondary role - Reports

Lionel Messi will not leave Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for Barcelona to play a secondary role in manager Xavi Hernandez’s team, as per Spanish outlet Sport.

The Argentina icon is in the final year of his contract at the Parc des Princes. The forward has been heavily linked with a return to Barca, where he played for 21 years before he had to leave as a free agent last year.

Blaugrana vice-president Eduard Romeu has publicly claimed that the club will get to work to ensure Messi’s return if such a possibility arises. It was recently reported that Xavi carving out a space for Messi in his starting XI was one of the three miracles needed for a reunion to happen.

It also seems like one of the most important considerations for the record Ballon d’Or winner if he is to return to Camp Nou. Currently, Barca don’t have a problem in terms of their front three. Summer signings Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha have become designated partners for winger Ousmane Dembele in the starting XI.

Messi, meanwhile, is arguably PSG’s best player this season. Aside from the Argentine’s eight goals and eight assists in 13 games across competitions, his ability to create goal-scoring chances and link-up play has been mesmeric. Along with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr, he is one of PSG’s crown jewels.

Hence, it is no surprise that the Parisiens are reportedly eager to extend Messi’s stay until the summer of 2025. However, it has been claimed that he will make a decision on his future only after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

PSG record underwhelming Ligue 1 draw in Lionel Messi’s absence

Coincidence or not, Messi missing his first game this season saw PSG fail to score for the first time across competitions since the start of the 2022-23 campaign.

The former Barcelona man has started in all but one of the Ligue 1 giants’ 14 games under manager Christophe Galtier, registering eight goals and as many assists. However, he was absent from Les Parisiens’ Ligue 1 clash against Stade Reims on October 8 due to a calf injury.

The Argentine, however, could be fit for his team’s UEFA Champions League group stage clash against SL Benfica on Tuesday (October 11). PSG’s draw with Reims meant that they are now just one point clear at the top of the league table.

Lorient, with 25 points, are just behind the French top-division title holders after 10 gameweeks.

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