“This option must be validated by both parties”

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi is reportedly closer to extending his stay at his current club than returning to Barcelona, ​​according to renowned journalist Guillem Balague.

Messi, 35, left his youth club last summer after the Catalan giants were unable to renew his contract due to La La’s financial regulations. He joined the Parisians on a free transfer ahead of the 2021/22 season and helped them lift the Ligue 1 title in his debut season.

Under the stewardship of new PSG coach Christophe Galtier, the left-footed player has been in explosive form this season. He has contributed 16 goals in 13 games across all competitions.

Lionel Messi destroys players and teams in the Champions League. 🔥

Speaking to Le Parisien, Balague shed light on the current state of mind of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner at Parc des Princes:

“He’s happier than ever! Things are going well on the pitch, the team has adapted to him, or rather he has a hand in the game. He feels a certain freedom in what he can do. Aside from his minor injury at the moment, he feels good, sharp, has made a real preparation for the season.”

He continued:

“He hasn’t had to live in a hotel in months, recovering from a long infection with COVID-19. Antonela [Roccuzzo] works, she develops her hair business, the children do well in school. All the things that held him back last season are gone today. He has a free spirit.”

With his current deal at PSG set to expire next summer, the Argentine has been linked with a Camp Nou return. Barcelona club hierarchy are unanimous on their stance on the signing of the former Newell’s Old Boys player, according to SPORT.

Balague shared his thoughts on Messi’s future:

“Today I think he’s getting closer to staying because he’s feeling good; he’s happy. But no decision will be made before the World Cup.”

“It will be decided between January and June next year. He has a two-year contract plus an option. But that option has to be validated by both parties. And if he wants to stay after 2023, a new contract has to be negotiated.” .”

Messi is expected to be on the bench for PSG’s upcoming Ligue 1 clash against Marseille at the Parc des Princes on Sunday (16 October).

Barcelona President Joan Laporta remains reserved on PSG star Lionel Messi

During an interview with Barça TV (via Mundo Deportivo), Barcelona’s President Joan Laporta was asked about the possibility of Lionel Messi’s return in the future. He has answered:

“He’s a PSG player and we wouldn’t do anyone any favors and we have to respect him. We are very aware of Leo’s appreciation. There are many Catalans who continue to wear Leo’s shirt.”

Messi is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer with 672 goals in 778 games. He also helped the club lift 35 trophies during his 17-year tenure.

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