FC Barcelona fans are waiting in anticipation for Lionel Messi to return to Barcelona, and their wish was momentarily granted on Wednesday. However, the Argentine did not stay in the city, as he was only passing through on a layover.

According to Spanish publication Marca, the former FC Barcelona captain landed back in Catalunya at around noon, but flew out again just a few hours later. His next destination is still unknown, but he had arrived following a short vacation spent with his family in Miami and the Dominican Republic. Messi enjoyed a tropical holiday to celebrate his Copa America victory with with Argentina earlier this summer, before heading back to Europe.

It is believed that he is still on holiday, even as the rest of the Barcelona squad are slowly returning to pre-season training. Messi had an extended holiday due to his participation in the Copa America, but he is also technically not an FC Barcelona player at the moment. Hence, there is no real reason for him to return to training.

It has been reported that Messi and the club had already agreed to the terms of his contract renewal, but the club is still unable to finalise the deal. They are being held back by their financial situation, which will prevent them from being able to register Messi even if he agrees to re-join the club.

Basically, Barcelona have gone way over their salary cap for the next season, and they will need to slash huge amounts from their wage bill if they want to accommodate Messi in the roster.

While Barcelona president Joan Laporta has maintained a calm facade throughout the Messi saga, there is no denying the fact that the days are passing quickly and not much progress has been made in the past weeks.

Barcelona are yet to offload some of their highest earners, and they are still a long way off the mark when it comes to reaching their salary cap limits. New signings Sergio Aguero and Emerson will reportedly be joining the club officially by August 2nd, but Messi will have to wait longer before the club can officially confirm his employment.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has put an end to his standoff with Barcelona, for now LLUIS GENE/AFP