Lionel Messi is reportedly ignoring phone calls from Barcelona as his Paris Saint-Germain contract ticks closer towards ending.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner left Barca for PSG on a free transfer in the summer of 2021 after the Spanish giants’ financial issues prevented them from registering his contract extension. A return to the Nou Camp has been rumoured in recent weeks, though, with Messi yet to extend his PSG deal, which is currently set to expire at the end of the season.
However, according to Spanish outlet Sport, neither Messi nor PSG are currently answering Barcelona’s calls to discuss a move for Messi.
In addition, Barca president Joan Laporta failed in his bid to bump into the Argentine playmaker at last month’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, with Messi absent having not been shortlisted for the award.
It is understood the 35-year-old is currently focused on PSG’s season and the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which could prove to be his last.
Messi will be 39 come the end of the 2026 World Cup. Argentina are set to begin their group stage campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22.
In another blow to Barca’s plans to re-sign Messi, he is instead reportedly close to agreeing to join MLS franchise Inter Miami when his PSG contract expires. Talks over a move are set to resume in the new year following the World Cup.
Sport also claim that Barcelona had planned to make an approach to sign Messi in January, although PSG are thought to be against letting him leave the club mid-season.
Messi scored 672 goals in 778 appearances for the club and won a total of 35 major trophies including four Champions Leagues and 10 league titles before his departure in 2021.
Laporta had hinted at a return to the Nou Camp for Messi ahead of last month’s Champions League defeat to Inter Milan, stating: “Leo’s stage did not end as we all wanted. We have a moral debt with him and we would like the end of his career to be in the Barça shirt.”