Barcelona Transfer News: Lionel Messi Reignites Newell's Old Boys Return Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 17, 2016

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 13: Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg match between Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona at Vicente Calderon stadium on April 13, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire to rejoin boyhood outfit Newell's Old Boys if he were to ever leave the Camp Nou, adding he "would love" to return to his native land.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner spoke to Spanish magazine El Planeta Urbano and confessed Newell's would be the only club he'd want to represent if he returned to Argentina, which could happen "in several years" (h/t FourFourTwo):

If I go back to Argentina tomorrow, which I would love, the club I would be play for would be Newell's.

As I said before, I do not know when it will be, or whether I will or not. Now if I think of the day, and if that occurs, it will be in several years.

The reality is I do not know what will happen from now until tomorrow, so I cannot say or promise that I will return, because it would not be honest of me.

But yes, I can assure you that I would love to play in the Argentine league and for Newell's, but from there it depends on many things.

Messi's current Barcelona contract runs until the summer of 2018, at which point he'll be 31 years of age, but the expectancy is the South American hitman will pen new terms at the Camp Nou.

At the beginning of the year, Goal's Ignasi Oliva reported Messi will see his annual salary almost double this summer, jumping from €22 million (£17.5 million) to €42 million (£33.4 million) as reward for agreeing to delay his extension in 2014.

By offsetting his own contract talks, Messi allowed Barcelona to cope better with their 2013 move for Brazilian supremo Neymar and complete the £65 million transfer of former Liverpool ace Luis Suarez.

Messi has achieved unrivalled success during his 15 years in Catalonia, and the forward went on to say he's completely focused on continuing to thrive with the Blaugrana, as well as with the national team:

My goal is always to win everything you can, either with Barcelona or the Argentina national team. I think this Copa America that is coming is a new opportunity for us.

Having been so close in two consecutive finals, arrives now a new opportunity to try to win. We'll do our best to get it. That's the dream of the whole group, which has been fighting since before the World Cup.

The 28-year-old is sat perched on 499 career goals at present, having netted 449 senior goals for Barca and an even 50 for La Albiceleste, owing much of his triumphs to the Primera Division giants.

In December, Sky Sports' South American correspondent Paulo Freitas teased the thought of the player hanging his boots up in Spain, or at best playing a very short stint with Newell's:

In any case, it seems as though Barcelona fans need not have any immediate concern regarding the future of their poster child, who looks poised to play at least a few more years in Catalonia.

Nigerian broadcaster Deji Kofi Faremi recently provided a look at one of the few mementos Messi has from his short-lived youth career at Newell's:

Despite missing more than a month of the 2015-16 campaign with a knee concern, Messi has hit back with 37 goals in 42 appearances this season, with Barca still in the hunt for two trophies.

Any return to Estadio Marcelo Bielsa will see Messi earn a far smaller wage than what he rakes in at Barcelona, but his passion to represent his former side may push him to one day complete a return nonetheless.

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