Barcelona's economic vice-president Eduard Romeu has claimed that the club are in a good position to sign Lionel Messi next summer as he will be free. The Argentine's current contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is set to expire next summer.
It is worth noting that Messi signed a two-year contract with PSG when he joined them from Barcelona last year. The deal included the option of a one-year extension, but it is reliant on whether the player wants to continue at the Parc des Princes or not.
Should he decide to return to Camp Nou, it means he'll be returning as a free agent and Barca won't need to pay the Parisians any sum for his transfer. This, according to Romeu, would make the move feasible for the Catalan giants.
The Spaniard said during an interview with El Matí de Catalunya Ràdio (h/t SPORT):
“If he [Lionel Messi] came back, it would be free, so it would be viable within my area, although I don’t have it in the budget. He is an icon of the club, this will always be his home, but it will be a technical decision. Barca will have no problems next summer with the structure that we have set up."
Barcelona have managed to overturn their terrible financial situation earlier this summer. They reduced their wage bill via contract renegotiations and injected funds into their account by selling part of their assets.
This has allowed them to spend on transfers during the summer and also made it possible for the registration of their new signings. They spent over €150 million on three players, while signing four others on free transfers.
Despite their progress, Romeu has admitted that the Catalan giants still have work to do. However, he did promise that the club will have a healthy salary bill in a couple of seasons. He said:
“We have saved Barça, but we still haven’t resolved it, we don’t have it healthy; it involves a lot of austerity, a lot of rigour and there is a lot of work to do. There have been a lot of movements in contracts and deferrals. In a couple of seasons, we will be in a reasonable salary."
Barcelona are currently second in the La Liga table, two points behind leaders and rivals Real Madrid. They will next play against RCD Mallorca away on October 1.
Lionel Messi's chapter at Barcelona isn't over
Lionel Messi admitted this during an interview with Spanish publication Sport shortly after leaving Camp Nou last year. He said (via Punch):
“What’s almost confirmed and certain is that we’ll return to Barcelona to live and our lives will be there. That’s what my wife and I want. I don’t know what’ll happen when my PSG contract ends, but we’ll go back to live in Barcelona. I've always said I’d love to be able to help the club do well in any way that I can be useful. I’d love to be a technical director at some point."
Messi has started the season brilliantly with PSG, registering six goals and eight assists in 11 matches in all competitions.