FC Barcelona first team coach Xavi Hernandez has asked president Joan Laporta to sign Lionel Messi when his Paris Saint Germain contract expires.
Messi left his boyhood club of more than two decades last summer when Barca failed to offer him a contract extension amid strict La Liga salary cap rules.
The bombshell development eventually saw Messi switch allegiances to the Qatari-backed Ligue 1 giants, who he joined on a two-year deal set to expire on June 30, 2023.
And though it has been reported that Messi intends to honor the commitment he made to his employers in the French capital, his future beyond expiration of his current arrangement is unclear.
Messi has been linked with a move to Inter Miami to see out the rest of his playing days after contesting the World Cup with Argentina this November.
Simultaneously, it has also been said that PSG are trying to offer Messi a further 12 months at the Parc des Princes on top of the 11 he has remaining with them.
On Sunday evening in Catalonia, however, SPORT report that former teammate Xavi has asked Laporta to sign the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner when he becomes a free agent again so that he can wear Blaugrana once more in 2023/2024.
Xavi is allegedly convinced that Messi, with whom he maintains an excellent relationship, can still contribute a lot at the top level and he could also be allowed to retire as a Barca player this way.
News of the potential coup comes after comments Laporta made to ESPN this weekend, where he admitted that he owed a debt to Messi for the manner in which the Argentine left the club unexpectedly and tearful in one of the darkest days of its history.
“Messi was everything,” Laporta confessed.
“To Barca, he’s been possibly its greatest player, the most efficient. To me he’s only comparable to Johan Cruyff. But it had to happen one day. We had to make a decision as a consequence of what we inherited. The institution is in charge of players, coaches.
“I would hope that the Messi chapter isn’t over,” Laporta went on. “I think it’s our responsibility to try to … find a moment to fix that chapter, which is still open and hasn’t closed, so it turns out like it should have, and that it has a more beautiful ending.”
Looking back on the debacle where Barca allowed their all-time appearances and goalscoring leader walk to a continental rival free of charge, Laporta said: “As president of Barca, I did what I had to do. But also as president of Barca, and on a personal level, I think I owe him.”
Through the legendary number ’10’ rejoining his former outfit, Messi and Barca fans can give each other the farewell they deserve and were denied by Covid, and still enjoy one another for a year or two more.