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Messi To Return? Barca Chief Responds

Barcelona's charismatic president Joan Laporta has responded to rumours that Lionel Messi could return to the club after it was claimed last week that the Argentine will retire at the Catalan giants.

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Iconic Argentine Juan Roman Riquelme made the bold prediction last week that countryman Messi will return to the Spanish giants to retire after winning the UEFA Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain.

With Antoine Griezmann's departure having helped eased the club's wage bill issues, there have been suggestions that Messi, the Catalans' leading goalscorer of all time, could one day play for Barcelona again before he hangs up his boots.

In a recent interview, Laporta addressed the speculation, and insisted he has not been in contact with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner since his move to Paris.

"There are objective data. Everyone can compare. We were pressured that we would either sign the CVC loan (deal) or there is no fair play," he told Esport3.

"There was no margin. There was a pre-agreement (to keep Messi) and we had shaken hands. There were several agreements and LaLiga seemed to accept it, but then they said no without CVC. We didn't think that the situation was going to improve and we put an end to it.

"Messi could not have stayed even with (Antoine) Griezmann's (departure) and with the salary reduction of the captains.

"But it is important that we have lowered the salary cap because next year we can be more ambitious.

"I think we were both sad because the situation was not what we wanted. I have not spoken with Messi since.

"I saw his debut with PSG and it was strange to see him at another team, rivals (of Barcelona). I did not like seeing him in another shirt."

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