Barcelona boss Xavi admits talks with Lionel Messi over a sensational summer return to the Nou Camp
‘It’s up to him… I’m speaking with Leo, yes’: Barcelona boss Xavi admits he’s had talks with Lionel Messi over a sensational return to the Nou Camp, with club legend expected to leave PSG when his contract expires next month
- Messi is expected to leave PSG when his contract expires next month
- He was suspended by PSG for taking an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia
- Xavi has now admitted that he is in touch with Messi over a blockbuster move
Barcelona boss Xavi has admitted that he is in talks with Lionel Messi over a potential sensational summer return to the Nou Camp.
The Argentine World Cup winner is expected to leave French champions PSG in the summer when his contract expires at the end of June.
Messi, who turns 36 next month, was suspended by PSG earlier this month for taking an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, where he serves as an ambassador for the country’s tourist board.
Manager Xavi has now admitted that he is in touch with Messi over such a blockbuster move and already devising tactical plans that include the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, having guided Barcelona back to the summit of LaLiga this season.
‘I told the president that Messi return makes sense,’ Xavi told Catalan publication Sport. ‘No doubts at all, he is perfect for our system and idea. I’ve the tactical plan in mind with Leo.
Lionel Messi is expected to leave French champions PSG when his contract expires next month
Barcelona boss Xavi has admitted that he is in talks with Messi over return to the Nou Camp
‘It’s up to Leo. I think he has to decide, it’s up to him… I’m speaking with Leo, yes.’
Messi, Inigo Martinez and Ilkay Gundogan make up the holy trinity of free transfers that Barcelona want to build their summer around – one legend and two top internationals that will excite supporters and improve the quality of the team that has just won the league.
Making it happen will not be easy and depend largely on how much slack they are cut by La Liga and how successful their attempts at selling players are.
The club have to make up a £174million [€200m] deficit in order to move with freedom in the transfer market, free from the shackles of La Liga’s 40 per cent rule that will otherwise oblige them to spend only £35million [€40m] of every £100million they bring in by either increasing revenue or reducing costs.
The scrapping of in-house TV channel Barça TV saves them 12m euros a year and they announced this week that Ambilight TV will be their shirt sleeve sponsors for three years for £7m [€8m], £8.6m [€10m] and £10.5m [€12m].
The news comes in the same week that Jordi Alba has revealed he will leave at the end of this season saving Barcelona a sizeable chunk of the 36m euros they would have had to pay him in gross earnings and backdated salary from the pandemic. His severance has not been made public but it will only be a fraction of that sum due if he had stayed.
They are crawling their way back towards solvency one cut at a time but the fact that they are trying to sell bits of the pitch and seats from the Camp Nou before it is renovated is a reminder of the desperation to raise money everywhere they can.
There have been claims from media closely related to the club that the departure of Alba and Busquets coupled with Gerard Pique moving on last year are equal to £104m [€120m] in savings, and that the arrival of Messi will generate £200m [€230m] in extra revenue – £130m [€150m] from increased sponsorship and £70m [€80m] from matchday revenue.
Re-signing Messi would be president Joan Laporta’s crowning glory if he can make it happen
The figures are financial fantasy but for all the exaggeration it’s clear with a very simple transfer market of selling for big money and only bring in free transfers the club are moving in the right direction.
Martinez has agreed to join the club although he has a clause in his pre-agreement that will mean he can move to another club if Barcelona cannot register him.
Gundogan is the next on the list and like Martinez he would arrive without a transfer free but he wants a three-year contract and the club and that will cost the club for the 32-year-old.
Messi will be president Joan Laporta’s crowning glory if he can make it happen Messi has £348 [€400m] offer from Saudi Arabia but is waiting for Barcelona. His pals Alba and Busquets will accompany him to Riyadh if Barça can’t find room in their budget for his salary – which La Liga will value at £21.7 [€25m], even if he agrees to be paid a lot less.
For all the latest Sports News Click Here