By Matias Grez, CNN
(CNN) — Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, says his son’s preferred move would be a return to Barcelona during the summer transfer window.
The World Cup winner was booed on more than one occasion by PSG fans this season, including when he walked onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes stadium to celebrate the team’s Ligue 1 title on Sunday.
Among the clubs vying for his contract is Al-Hilal, with Reuters reporting last month that Messi had received a formal offer to join the Saudi club.
However, when asked by journalists if returning to Barcelona, where Messi spent 17 trophy-laden years, would be his son’s preferred move, Jorge answered: “Yes.”
Jorge was then asked if the Messi family was confident of a return to the Catalan club, to which he responded: “I would love it.”
Messi left Barcelona in tears in 2021 after financial mismanagement at the club, which was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, meant it was unable to offer its talisman a new contract.
The Argentine won two Ligue 1 titles in his two seasons at PSG, but was unable to help the club win the Champions League for the first time in its history.
Messi’s time at the club ended acrimoniously after PSG suspended him for taking an unauthorized trip abroad, with the Argentine later apologizing.
Now a move back to the club where Messi turned from schoolboy to sporting legend is on the cards.
At 17 years old, he made his first of 778 appearances for the Blaugrana, becoming the youngest player to represent the club in an official game at the time.
He went on to break the club’s goalscoring record and won 35 trophies during his time at the Camp Nou – including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.
Under new coach and club legend Xavi, Barcelona this year won its first La Liga title in four years.
“For me, there’s no doubt that if Messi comes back, he will help us on a football level,” Xavi told Barcelona-based newspaper SPORT in a recent interview.
“I let the president [Joan Laporta] know this. I have no doubts, no doubt at all that he will help because he is still a decisive footballer, because he still has hunger, because he’s a winner, because he’s a leader and because, also, he’s a different, different player,” added Xavi, who told SPORT that he still talks to Messi.
“We don’t have a Barça on a talent level like 2010, for example. And what would Messi bring? He’d bring talent. Final pass, set pieces, goals … in the final third, he’s a player on a different level.
“As such, and because of the way I want to play, the way the staff wants to play too, for me there’s no doubt that he would help us a lot, but it all depends on him. In the end, the one who calls the shots at this time is Leo. There’s no doubt.”
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Ben Church contributed to this report.