Xavi confirms Barcelona talks over sensational Lionel Messi homecoming

Lionel Messi of PSG warms up prior to the Ligue 1 match between Angers and PSG at the Stade Raymond Kopa on April 21, 2023 in Angers, France.
(Image credit: Glenn Gervot/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Barcelona boss Xavi has revealed that the club have held talks with La Liga about Lionel Messi's potential return to the Camp Nou this summer.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner is out of contract at PSG at the end of the season, and speculation over a Barca homecoming has intensified as he appears unlikely to extend his stay in France.

Barca remain in a tight spot financially, though, and any deal for Messi would have to comply with La Liga's strict financial fair play (FFP) rules.

Lionel Messi and Xavi of Barcelona celebrate during the UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Ajax at the Cam Nou on September 18, 2013 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Messi and Xavi were Barcelona teammates for 11 years (Image credit: VI Images via Getty Images)

Speaking to the media ahead of Barca's home clash with Betis on Saturday night – where three points will take them another big step closer to claiming their first La Liga title in four years – Xavi said:

"Yes, [Barcelona met with La Liga]. but not only for the possible arrival of Leo. We'll see in order to improve the squad next year, but it is not the important issue; there is still a league to win.

"Tomorrow [Saturday], we have a key game and this is the important issue. This [transfers] is a matter of Mateu [Alemany, Barcelona's Director of Football] and informs us – but, in theory, everything is going well. In the end, we don't know if it's going to happen or not. It's very soon to talk about it. We are focused on the match against Betis and on winning La Liga, which would give us a lot of stability. We will talk about possible signings."

Lionel Messi of PSG looks on during the Ligue 1 match between Angers and PSG at the Stade Raymond Kopa on April 21, 2023 in Angers, France.

Messi has scored 20 goals for PSG this season (Image credit: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Messi and Xavi played alongside each other during the most successful period in Barcelona's history, twice winning the Champions League under Pep Guardiola.

Xavi retired in 2015, before taking over as manager in 2021; Messi left Barca just a matter of months before his former teammate's arrival in the dugout, after the club were unable to afford to renew his contract.

But it's not all been plain sailing for Argentina's World Cup-winning captain at PSG, whose fans have turned on him amid reported tensions with fellow superstar forward Kylian Mbappe.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...