Lionel Messi, now playing for Inter Miami, has spoken publicly about whether he still has any interest in returning to Europe and rejoining Barcelona.

Since Barcelona’s financial woes prevented them from affording a contract extension for Lionel Messi, he reluctantly left the club in the summer of 2021.

His last two years with the Catalan giants were tumultuous since he openly voiced his displeasure with the club’s leadership and play.

The Argentine’s contract was about to expire, and after unsuccessful contract extension talks, the player revealed emotionally that he was leaving for Paris Saint-Germain.

There was talk of a return to Camp Nou once his PSG deal ended in the summer of 2023, but he ultimately signed with MLS club Inter Miami.

Instead of waiting for Xavi Hernandez’s side to fix their financial problems, the reigning Argentine World Cup winner decided to try his luck in Major League Soccer.

The Herons’ co-owner Jorge Mas previously revealed that the arrangement would pay him “between $50 and $60 million per year” over the course of two seasons.

There have also been rumors that Messi has separate deals with Apple and Adidas that will pay him astronomical amounts.

No MLS action for Messi until next season

However, there have been new reports that Lionel Messi might make a temporary exit from the DRV PNK Stadium in January.

As has been speculated before, the Argentine might return to the Catalan club after this season’s Major League Soccer competition concludes.

When Inter Miami failed to make the MLS playoffs last month, rumors began to circulate that Barcelona were considering a shocking move to bring him back to his childhood club on loan. Sport, a Catalan sports daily, reported that the La Liga champions were planning a spectacular gesture to offer him a fitting farewell.

The 21st October marked the end of Messi’s first season in the United States.

After his November World Cup Qualifiers with Argentina, he will have an extended hiatus before the 2024 American season begins. If the 36-year-old were to go back to Europe on loan, he would have had more opportunities to play in games against strong competition.

What did Lionel Messi say of new Barcelona links?

The Argentine superstar, fresh off being named the best player on the globe once again, has said he has no interest in returning to play in Europe.

“No, not at all. Now that I’ve taken a step forward by coming here to the United States, I don’t think I’ll ever play in Europe again. Of course, I will miss playing the UEFA Champions League or La Liga for the rest of my life, games with a special flavor. But I enjoyed it as much as I could, so I have no frustration.

“I’ve always said that I don’t think about the future, that I go day by day. I feel good physically. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to play. I want to continue until I feel that I can’t do it anymore, that my physical condition doesn’t allow me to play as I would like to. Time will tell.

“I could have returned to Barcelona but it didn’t happen. It was similar to me having to leave in 2021. I thought about Barça return, my life there, retiring there as I always wanted but… it was not possible. I had many offers on the table this year… including multiple European clubs and Saudi Arabia. We decided to come to Miami and it is a decision we are happy with, we feel good.

“Once my career is over, we will return to Barcelona. It is our home, where we have our habits, our friends. Whether it’s my wife, my children or me. But I have no idea what I’m going to do at the moment. I haven’t thought about it yet and I don’t want to,” he told L’Equipe.