The Barcelona superstar moved to the Camp Nou as a 13-year-old from Newell's and has gone on to become one of the greatest players of all time, but he admitted to harbouring a desire to return to the Argentinian outfit, per TyC Sports (via Allan Valente of Sky Sports):
"The desire is always playing for Newell's, it is what I dreamed as a kid. When I went to the club I imagined playing in the Primera Division, but I do not know what's going to happen in a few years. I cannot say I'm going back because I do not know where I'm going to be."
Barca CEO Oscar Grau revealed last month that the club are planning to offer Messi, 30, a lifetime contract at the Camp Nou after he agreed a new four-year deal in the summer, per Sam Marsden on ESPN.co.uk.
However, despite ongoing assurances from Grau and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu that Messi actually signing to new terms is a formality, the fact remains he is in a position to open talks with other clubs as early as January having not put pen to paper on the contract yet, per Valente.
And Messi's comments that he does not know what his future holds are likely to concern those connected with Barca, especially the fans.
Having lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, Barcelona are now more reliant than ever on Messi's incredible contribution.
The Argentinian star has picked up the slack so far in 2017-18 following Neymar's departure and Luis Suarez out of form, netting 12 goals in 11 La Liga games and outshining Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo:
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Messi has dominated Ronaldo in converting goals so far this year https://t.co/eyDajQeukA2017-11-8 23:00:38
In no small part thanks to Messi's incredible form Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona side are four points clear at the top of La Liga having won 10 games and drawn one.
Messi's continued presence at the Camp Nou is vital for Barcelona as they look to reestablish their dominance in Spain and regain the UEFA Champions League.
The fact the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is thinking about life after Barca may prompt the Catalan giants to finally get him to put pen to paper on the new deal.