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Barcelona 'would very much love' for Messi to return -Laporta

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that he would "very much love" for Lionel Messi to return, but concedes any deal will be "difficult".

Amid reports of Messi reaching a verbal agreement for a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain, Laporta has admitted he still hopes the Barca legend will return to Camp Nou before he retires. The Blaugrana chief was delighted to see a club legend finally fulfil his World Cup dream with Argentina, but has also warned supporters to temper their expectations with regard to a potential homecoming in 2023.

Laporta believes Messi's love for Barca remains strong, but he acknowledges the fact that PSG have him tied to a contract until at least the end of the season. "On the subject of Messi, we can’t generate expectations," he told Barca TV. "Messi is a PSG player and has a contract with them. He has won the World Cup and the Culés have been very happy. What I don’t want to do is generate expectations that at the moment are very difficult. For us he is the best player of all time, we have had him here and I am convinced that in his heart he is a Culé and will always be linked to Barca. Whether or not he comes back as a player, at the moment he is at PSG and we would very much love him to come back one day, but we’ll see."

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