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Lionel Messi to start for Argentina as he plots Barcelona return

Paris Saint-Germain attacker Lionel Messi is open to returning to Barcelona in the summer, reports RAC1.

The 35-year-old is out of contract at the Ligue 1 club at the end of the season.

Messi could decide to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes club beyond this term, but the chances are low.

Major League Soccer club Inter Miami want the Argentine maestro, while Saudi Arabia clubs are keen too.

A return to Barca would prove tricky due to the Catalans’ financial situation.

The Camp Nou club need to shed €200 million off their wage bill to have a chance of signing new players.

Messi will have to be ready to take a huge pay cut for a return to work out.

However, the possibility remains slim, but nothing has been ruled out.

Negotiations have not started between both parties, and plenty of developments could take place between now and summer.

Messi is currently on international duty and is expected to start when the World Cup winners take on Panama tomorrow.

It is Argentina’s first game since they landed the big prize in Qatar last December.

Messi does not have plans to retire yet and is expected to be part of the squad for next year’s Copa America in the United States.

However, La Albiceleste manager Lionel Scaloni would love to have the PSG star around for the 2026 World Cup.

Messi will be 39 by the time the quadrennial tournament takes place in Canada, Mexico and the US.

Scaloni has left the decision to retire from international football completely in Messi’s hands.

Having won it all at both club and country levels, the Barca legend has nothing else to play for.

A decision on the 2026 World Cup will depend on plenty of factors going forward.

Having been recently booed by PSG fans, Messi could have second thoughts about remaining in France.

A return to Spain would be emotional, but the financial terms on offer in Saudi could be more tempting.

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