Barcelona boss Xavi drops massive hint over Lionel Messi return amid PSG struggles

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Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has refused to rule out a sensational return for Lionel Messi. It is the latest hint that the Paris Saint-Germain forward could go back to the Camp Nou before the end of his career. 

Barca’s financial issues left them unable to tie down Messi to a new contract last summer. The legendary figure’s deal expired in June and strict transfer sanctions placed upon Barca by La Liga meant Messi had to be released.  

Messi, who had spent his entire career with the Spanish giants, was left devastated. He held a heart-breaking press conference to bid farewell to the club.  

PSG quickly put together a deal to take Messi to France. However, that move has not entirely gone to plan. 

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Messi has been widely linked with a return to Barca, for whom he played 778 times and scored a staggering 672 goals. And now, boss Xavi – a former team-mate of Messi – has insisted the door remains open for him to go back to the club.  

“He’s the best player in history, he’s earned the right to return to the club,” Xavi said. “The door is open to him. He has a contract with PSG so there’s little more I can say. If he wants to come, to see training, talk to the coach, the doors are open.” 

Messi’s time at PSG has not been largely successful and he and Neymar have been booed in recent weeks. The 34-year-old has scored just seven times since joining the Ligue 1 outfit in the summer, but his 11 assists mean he has 18 goal contributions in 26 appearances. 

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Wide reports have said Messi shares a tense relationship with head coach and countryman Mauricio Pochettino. Those claims have intensified in the aftermath of PSG’s disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.  

“No one likes this, it made me sad,” Pochettino said of Messi and Neymar being booed in Sunday’s clash with Bordeaux. “Everyone who loves PSG is sad after the disappointment of Madrid. I’m sad with what I experienced today.” 

Pochettino’s own future is unclear following that collapse against Madrid, in which PSG led 2-0 on aggregate at half-time in the second leg, only to concede three second-half goals. 

The former Tottenham boss has been linked with the soon-to-be vacant Manchester United job. Red Devils interim head coach Ralf Rangnick will step aside at the end of the season. 

Pochettino is one of the favourites to replace Rangnick, alongside Ajax tactician Erik ten Hag. 
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