"They still have the same problem" - Gerard Pique rips into Barcelona president Joan Laporta amid uncertainty about Lionel Messi's future
Former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique criticized La Liga president Joan Laporta for his stance on Lionel Messi's potential return to the Catalan club.
Messi recently played his last game for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) against Clermont Foot. The Argentine will leave the club as a free agent after June 30 and has been linked with a return to Barca. Messi's father, Jorge Messi, recently had a meeting with Laporta. Pique, meanwhile, said on the matter (via Barca Universal):
"We have left and they still have the same problem. In theory we were the ones responsible for the financial issues with our salaries. Now we are not there and they cannot register either. Who else has to go?"
Pique retired in the middle of the 2022-23 season. The likes of Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba will also leave at the end of the season. Hence, Barcelona have a better financial situation at the moment.
La Liga also approved the club's financial viability plan for Lionel Messi's return. However, the Blaugrana are yet to table an official offer for Messi.
Xavi spoke about Lionel Messi's return to Barcelona
Barcelona manager Xavi was recently quizzed about his former teammate Lionel Messi's potential return to the club. Addressing the matter, the Spaniard told the media (via GOAL):
"The situation is in the hands of the president and Leo's father, so we'll see, we'll see how it turns out, but ultimately Leo has the upper hand."
Messi's father also said that the player is keen on a return to the club. Speaking to the media after his meeting with Laporta, Jorge Messi said (via GOAL):
"Of course, he [Messi] would love to return to Barca. I would like it too. We will see."
Apart from Barcelona, Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal and MLS side Inter Miami CF have also been linked with a move for Messi. Al-Hilal have reportedly offered the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner a €1 billion deal for two years.
However, a return to Barca remains Lionel Messi's priority. He scored 672 goals and provided 303 assists in 778 matches for Barcelona before his 2021 departure.