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Messi return a “top priority” for Barcelona, Xavi insists

Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi
© Ace Football

The Argentine icon leaves PSG as a free agent this summer.

Xavi Hernandez has already spoken to Lionel Messi about his possible return to Barcelona.

Messi left Barca after 21 years to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free deal in 2021. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner becomes a free agent again this summer, ending his two-year spell in Paris.

Widespread reports in French and Spanish media claim the 35-year-old has a record-breaking offer from Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.

However, a return to Barca is still on the cards, given Messi’s desire to continue his career at the top level.

“The priorities are very clear. I would really like Messi to return, I have spoken with him,” Xavi said on Saturday.

“I have already said that it depends on him. From here, apart from Leo, the other priority is a pivot.”

Barcelona have repeatedly expressed their interest in re-signing Messi. However, the club’s financial issues could prevent them from adding him to their squad.

The Catalans will most likely need to offload some of their top earners to open up space on their wage bill. The potential exit of Ansu Fati could put the club in a better position to strike a new deal with Messi. However, Barca are yet to receive a formal offer for the Spain international.

Speaking about Fati’s situation last week, Xavi said: “I haven’t spoken to him about his future. 

“We don’t know the fair play situation. When we know, we’ll plan the arrivals and departures.”