Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has once again expressed his willingness to welcome Lionel Messi back to the club, amid rumors of the Argentine’s uncertain future at Paris Saint-Germain. The 35-year-old forward will be a free agent at the end of the current season, and sources suggest that PSG, as well as Inter Miami CF and teams in Saudi Arabia, are interested in extending his contract.
However, speculation has been mounting that Messi could return to his former club, especially after Xavi revealed that he has been in constant communication with the star player. “This is his house and the door is always open,” Xavi said during a recent press conference. “We have a friendship with [Messi] and communicate frequently. It depends on his goals for the future and how the club perceives those goals. He is the greatest player ever and the finest in the entire globe. He’d always fit in with [the team] .”
Barcelona has been struggling with financial difficulties, and Lionel Messi’s departure in 2021 was a result of the club’s inability to afford his wages. But Xavi is hopeful that the situation has improved and that the club can once again afford to bring back their former superstar. “I’ve previously said that this is his home and the doors are open to him, he’s a buddy, and we’re in daily touch,” Xavi stated. “It will be up to him to decide what he wants to do with his life. There is no question that this is his home. The greatest football player ever would always blend in.”
Barcelona is currently leading La Liga by eight points, but their early exits from the Champions League in the past two seasons have dampened the enthusiasm of their fans. Xavi acknowledges that the team has not been performing at the level necessary for the Champions League, and their current participation in the Europa League is a test for them to prove themselves. On Thursday, they face Manchester United for a spot in the round of 16 of the Europa League, and Xavi is confident that his team can triumph despite the absence of key players Ousmane Dembele and Pedri, who are injured, and Gavi, who is serving a one-game suspension.
“We are here to compete. There is no defense for the absences. We have the team, in my opinion, to triumph and advance,” Xavi stated. “The pressure is on me, so go out there and enjoy this stage, I’ll tell the guys. I would do anything to perform at Old Trafford one more time in a memorable setting on a significant European night.”
In addition to the Lionel Messi rumors, Xavi has also been linked to a potential move to Manchester United, as the Glazer family has put the team up for sale and valued it at around €6 billion. Xavi is acquainted with Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the head of the Qatar Islamic Bank, who is one of the bidders for the Premier League team. Xavi spent six years working in Qatar and is familiar with Sheikh Jassim, whom he describes as a “really decent man who takes his obligations extremely seriously.”
The football world eagerly awaits Lionel Messi’s decision on his future, but one thing is certain: Xavi and Barcelona will always be open to welcoming him back to his home.