Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has labeled Lionel Messi Barcelona return as “impossible” at the moment, but he has not definitively closed the door on bringing the Argentine back to the Camp Nou in the future.
Barca president Joan Laporta told ESPN last week that he considers it his responsibility to ensure Messi has a “more beautiful ending” at Camp Nou following his painful exit last summer.
However, Xavi has played down the chances of re-signing Messi from Paris Saint-Germain, who he joined on a two-year contract last summer because a contract renewal between the both parties failed.
“Leo has a contract, so it’s impossible, impossible,” Xavi told a news conference in Dallas ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Juventus at the Cotton Bowl.
“It doesn’t make sense to speak about Messi. He is the best player in the world and the best ever. The president has already said that he hopes Messi’s story has not finished with Barcelona. We will see in the future, but it’s not the moment to speak about Leo, it’s the moment to talk about the exciting players we have here.”
The post-Messi era has seen summer signings of attackers Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha after the January arrivals of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Messi will be 36 when his contract expires with PSG 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 try to sign him on a free transfer next summer.
Lionel Messi is under contract at PSG for another year.