FC Barcelona continues to be open about the possibility of Lionel Messi returning to the Spanish club after leaving in the summer of 2021.
Despite Messi reportedly wanting to wait until after the 2022 FIFA World Cup concludes, the reporting or commenting on the 35-year-old’s future isn’t waiting until after the tournament ends.
Barcelona is facing off against Inter Milan in a crucial UEFA Champions League matchup on Tuesday at the San Siro as a win for either side puts them in the driver’s seat to finish second behind FC Bayern Munich.
During the press conference, Barcelona manager Xavi was asked about Messi’s possible return to the La Liga side when his contract expires in June 2023, and the answer might surprise some as he wasn’t out front with his response.
“I think that now is not the time to talk about Leo’s return at Barça. He’s a friend of mine; he’s fine there, so are we,” Xavi told reporters (h/t Fabrizio Romano). “Barcelona is his home, so let him remain calm and continue enjoying himself in Paris.”
Messi returning to Barcelona is a priority for club president Joan Laporta, but he’ll have to repair his relationship with the Argentine, who left the Spanish side in tears before signing with PSG.
Additionally, PSG doesn’t want Messi to leave. The veteran forward is also reportedly open to remaining in the French capital; as a result, these next few months will be filled with rumors.