Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said that Lionel Messi’s return to the team is ‘impossible’ at the moment, but he hasn’t finally closed the door on a return in the future.
Barca president Joan Laporta told ESPN last week that he considers it his responsibility to ensure Messi has a ‘finer ending’ at the Camp Nou after last summer’s painful departure.
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However, Xavi has downplayed the chances of signing Messi from Paris Saint-Germain, who he signed on a two-year deal last summer, as Barca couldn’t afford to renew his deal.
“Leo has a contract so it’s impossible, impossible,” Xavi said at a news conference in Dallas ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Juventus at the Cotton Bowl.
“There’s no point in talking about Messi. He’s the best player in the world and the best ever. The President has already said he hopes Messi’s story with Barcelona doesn’t end there. We will in the future see, but that’s the way it is.” not the moment to talk about Leo, it’s the moment to talk about the exciting players we have here.”
The post-Messi era kicked into gear at Barcelona this summer with the signings of attackers Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha. They follow the arrivals of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.
Messi will be 36 when his contract at PSG expires in 2023 but reports continue to link him with a Barca return. Following Laporta’s comments to ESPN, Diario Sport reported that Xavi had asked the president to sign him on a free transfer next summer.
Messi’s exit from the Catalan club left a bitter taste. He was willing to accept a lower salary to stay but Barca were still unable to keep his wages within the spending limit imposed by LaLiga.
“Messi was everything,” Laporta exclusively told ESPN last week.
“For Barca he was possibly [the club’s] biggest player, the most efficient. For me he is only comparable to Johan Cruyff. But it had to happen one day. We had to make a decision based on what we inherited.
“I would hope that the Messi chapter isn’t over yet. I think it’s our responsibility to try… to find a moment to fix this chapter that’s still open and not yet closed, so that it develops as it should have.” , and that it has a nicer ending.
“As Barca president I did what I had to do. But also as Barca president and on a personal level I think I owe him something.”
Laporta has previously spoken of his desire to see Messi back at Barca, where he has won the Ballon d’Or six times and holds the club’s record for goals (672) and appearances (778).
https://www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/4706587/xavi-lionel-messi-barcelona-return-impossible-but-door-not-closed Lionel Messi Barcelona return ‘impossible,’ but door not closed