Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has opened up on the possibility of Lionel Messi returning to the Catalan club in the summer.
The Argentine’s future is pretty much up in the air with his current deal with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) coming to an end this summer. As per ESPN, Messi is likely to leave the Parc des Princes and has attracted interest from Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.
However, ESPN claims that Barcelona are hopeful of beating the competition to bring Messi back to his boyhood club. Barca boss Xavi Hernandez, who used to play alongside the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, has spoken about the possibility of Messi’s return to Camp Nou.
The Spaniard has claimed that Lionel Messi’s return to the Catalan club depends on a number of things including what the player really wants. He said in a press conference, as quoted by ESPN:
“It’s up in the air. It depends on many things. There is not much more I can say. Leo is a spectacular footballer. He is a friend. From there, it depends on many things, but above all, on his intentions and what he wants.”
Barcelona vice president Rafa Yuste also opened up on Lionel Messi’s possible return to the club. He recently said, as quoted by ESPN:
“I want him to come back, that’s the truth. After everything he gave this club, coming through the academy, starting his career here… it’s a beautiful story and beautiful stories have to have happy endings. If everything goes well – and even though he has to make the final decision – I hope he returns. We would all be really happy.”
Lionel Messi left Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer of 2021 due to their difficult financial situation and the Argentina international went on to join PSG.
The World Cup winner has enjoyed a solid season for the Ligue 1 giants. He has scored 20 goals and provided 20 assists in 39 games across competitions this term.
Barcelona will reportedly have to sacrifice two first-team players in order to bring Messi back to the club in the upcoming summer transfer window. Jordi Alba and Raphinha could both be offloaded to make room for the Argentine superstar and trim the wage bill.
As reported by El Nacional, Barca are inching closer to bringing Messi back to Camp Nou. However, they are still a few millions away from the La Liga limit and could have to sell Raphinha and Alba in order to make that happen.
Xavi has used both players widely this season but neither of them is absolutely untouchable.Alba has made 23 appearances for Barcelona in the league this season, out of which only 13 have been starts.
Raphinha, meanwhile, has scored seven goals and assisted as many times in his 33 La Liga appearances this season.