‘Messi would’ve to take pay cut to join Barca’

La Liga President, Javier Tebas, has insisted that Lionel Messi would need to take a pay cut to join Barcelona, who are required to sell players before they can attempt to re-sign the Argentine.

The 35-year-old was forced to end his legendary 17-year senior career at Camp Nou in the summer of 2021 after Barcelona were unable to offer the forward a new contract amid their financial troubles.

Messi has since spent the last two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 31 goals and providing 34 assists in 71 games across all competitions, as well as winning one Ligue 1 title and one French Super Cup.

PSG are understood to have the option to extend Messi’s contract by a further 12 months, but the French giants will allegedly opt against triggering the extension clause, meaning the 2022 World Cup winner is set to leave the club for free this summer.

The news comes just a few days after the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was handed a two-week suspension without pay by PSG for taking an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this week for commercial reasons.

Messi, who may have played his final game for PSG, has been heavily linked with a return to Barcelona for some time, although the reality of a proposed deal taking place remains to be seen due to the Catalan club’s well-documented financial problems.

La Liga chief, Tebas, revealed earlier this year that Barca will be required to raise around £177m from player sales before they can consider targeting new signings this summer. –SportsMole

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