Watch: Joan Laporta reveals plan to bring Lionel Messi back to Barcelona

Barcelona's Lionel Messi playing against Valencia in the Copa del Rey. 1st February 2018, Camp Nou.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has vowed to do all he can to bring Lionel Messi back to Camp Nou for a second spell.

Messi came through their academy and then enjoyed an outstanding career at Barcelona, scoring 672 goals in 778 appearances in all competitions and winning 35 trophies.

But Barcelona have been struggling financially in recent years and Laporta told the Argentina international that they could not afford to renew his contract.

He then bid an emotional farewell to the Spanish club last summer and decided to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

“It was really difficult to understand what happened, I wasn’t expecting to leave Barcelona – it was a shock,” Messi recently told TyC Sports when reflecting on his departure. “I had everything in Barcelona. I went to Barcelona when I was very young.

“I lived more in Barcelona than in Argentina. The truth is that I had no plans to change anything. Luckily the adaptation of the kids was good, but for Antonela and for me it was more difficult.”

Messi registered 10 goals and 14 assists in 33 appearances in all competitions during his debut season, helping PSG win the Ligue 1 title.

He’s set to remain at the Parc des Princes throughout the 2022-23 season but now has less than a year to run on his current deal.

According to a report from Sky Sports, the forward won’t discuss a contract extension until after the culmination of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

While Messi has been linked with Major League Soccer sides, Laporta admitted that he wants the 35-year-old to finish his playing career at Barcelona.

“I did what I had to do in order to put the institution above the best player in our history,” Laporta told CBS Sports when reflecting on Messi’s departure. “I have known Messi since he was a kid and I love Leo, Barca love Leo.

“It’s true I feel in moral debt to the best player in our history and I will do my best in order to ensure Messi can have the best ending of his career with a Barca shirt.

“I would like to do it. It will not be easy but I think that with the correct strategy we could do it and we will do our best in order to have Messi ending his career at Barcelona and being applauded by everyone.”

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