Barcelona: Xavi keeps door open for Messi return to Barcelona

Barcelona coach and former teammate of Lionel Messi has kept the door wide open for the Argentine forward to return to the club in the near future should he want to.

Messi spent the entirety of his career with Barcelona until his move to PSG in the summer of 2021. Ever since then, he has been repeatedly linked with a move back to the Blaugrana.

“This is his home and the doors are open to him. There is no doubt about it. He is a friend, we are in permanent contact. It will depend a lot on him, on what he wants to do in his future, on what the club wants to do as well,” Xavi told the press ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Manchester United.

Asked if Leo would fit into the current team, Xavi made it clear: “He is the best in the world and in history, he would always fit in.

Xavi looks ahead to Manchester United clash

Xavi described Thursday’s clash against Manchester United as a “test” and an “opportunity” to show that Barcelona can compete “against one of the greats in Europe.

“It’s a very difficult game. Manchester United is one of the best teams in Europe. On many levels they are the best United have been in recent years. At the Camp Nou they showed a lot of personality, a lot of character, a lot of pace. We need the mentality to win a big game in Europe,” said Xavi.

“It’s a perfect occasion to show that Barcelona can compete against one of the big teams in Europe. It’s a very good opportunity. It’s a test, every game for Barcelona is a test, this one with more emphasis.

“It’s a very good opportunity for us. We’re in a good moment. Leaders in LaLiga, in the semi-finals of the Copa, and we already have a title, the Spanish Super Cup.

Xavi was quizzed as to which trophy it is that he wants to win the most this season but he could not separate them.

“I can’t throw anything away, we are Barcelona, we can’t throw anything away. We have four titles at stake and we’ve already won one. Losing on Thursday would be a huge disappointment,” he explained.

Manchester United is up for sale and the soft deadline for bids closed last Friday, with potential buyers from the United States, the United Kingdom, including INEOS owner Jim Ratcliffe, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, including Paris Saint Germain owner Al Thani.

Xavi, who spent six years working in Qatar, was asked about a possible purchase of United by the Arab country and saw it as a positive thing.

“It’s the law of supply and demand. I have a very good relationship with the sheikh, he is a serious and responsible person and he would do a good job,” said Xavi.

“He is responsible, serious, he is a good option for United,” he added.

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