Barcelona doors ‘always open’ for Lionel Messi return

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez mentioned the door will at all times be open for Lionel Messi to return to Camp Nou following renewed hypothesis concerning the ahead’s future.

Messi, 35, is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain on the finish of the season and studies in Spain this week claimed his father, Jorge, met with Barca president Joan Laporta not too long ago.

The assembly is alleged to have primarily been associated to arranging a possible homage for Messi following his departure from Barca in 2021, but additionally served to the touch base on the Argentina worldwide’s plans past the summer time.

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“This is his home and the door is always open,” Xavi mentioned in a information convention earlier than Thursday’s Europa League recreation towards Manchester United when requested concerning the rumoured assembly.

“[Messi] is a friend and we are in permanent contact. It depends on what he wants for his future and how the club see it. He is the best player in the world and the best ever. He would always fit [the team].”

Sources have informed ESPN that PSG stay eager to increase Messi’s contract, whereas he has additionally reportedly drawn curiosity from Inter Miami CF and golf equipment in Saudi Arabia.

Change may be afoot at Barca’s opponents this week, with United put up for sale by the Glazer household, who worth the membership at round €6 billion.

One of the bidders for the Premier League facet is Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank and somebody who Xavi is aware of from his time in Qatar.

“I know him well because I worked in Qatar for six years,” Xavi mentioned. “He is a very good person, with responsibilities, serious. He is a good option [for United].”

United and Barca meet at Old Trafford for a spot within the spherical of 16 of the Europa League on Thursday. Following a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou final week, the tie stays broad open.

“United are one of best teams in Europe and are showing that in terms of competitiveness, performances and results,” Xavi added. “This is the best United in recent years. They are back; they are even competing for the Premier League. It’s the perfect setting to show that Barca can compete against a big European team.

“I’ll inform the gamers: ‘The strain is on me, go on the market and luxuriate in this stage.’ I’d give something to play once more at Old Trafford on a giant European night time with a particular ambiance.”

Barca sit eight points clear at the top of LaLiga but their early elimination from the Champions League in each of the last two seasons has held back the euphoria for now.

“We will see on Thursday if we’ve got modified in respect to [past European failures],” Xavi said. “This yr we’re within the Europa League, so we’ve got not been on the stage required within the Champions League.

“We cannot say we are back. This is a massive test and where we have to prove ourselves is on the pitch.”

Barca can be lacking three key gamers for the sport. Ousmane Dembele and Pedri are each injured, whereas Gavi will serve a one-game suspension.

“I would highlight the loss of Dembele,” Xavi states. “He is key for us, he’s someone who can make the difference. Pedri brings order and Gavi, with his intensity, would be perfect for a game like this.

“But we’re right here to compete. The absences cannot be an excuse. I feel we’ve got the crew to win and undergo.”

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