Barcelona manager Xavi insists it is ‘impossible’ for Lionel Messi to return to the club this summer

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Barcelona manager Xavi has said it is ‘impossible’ for Lionel Messi to return at the moment – but left the door open for the Argentine’s possible return down the line.

Xavi and Messi were teammates at the Nou Camp, but the superstar playmaker now plays for PSG after a high-profile move to the Ligue 1 side last summer.

The 35-year-old is in the second year of a two-year deal in Paris, and is thought to be making a further decision about his next steps after the World Cup this winter – with the French club hoping Messi will sign a one-year extension.

Joan Laporta, the president of the Catalan giants, had told ESPN that he thinks Messi has another ‘chapter’ to offer Barcelona following his turbulent exit, as previously reported by MailOnline.

However, at a news conference in Dallas before Barca’s friendly with Juventus, Xavi said: ‘Leo has a contract, so it’s impossible, impossible.

‘It doesn’t make sense to speak about Messi. He is the best player in the world and the best ever. The president has already said that he hopes Messi’s story has not finished with Barcelona.

‘We will see in the future, but it’s not the moment to speak about Leo, it’s the moment to talk about the exciting players we have here.’

To adapt in a new era after Messi’s departure, Barcelona signed Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha this summer, following the arrivals of Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.

While Messi will be 36 next summer, when his PSG contract expires, it is thought that Xavi still wants the Argentine megastar back at the Nou Camp before he hangs up his boots.

Last week, Laporta said ‘Messi was everything. To Barca, he’s been possibly [the club’s] greatest player’. Therefore, it is no surprise that they are keen to reunite with him if that opportunity presents itself in 2023.

Messi holds Barcelona’s records for most appearances and most goals, scoring 672 times across 778 appearances so far in a Barca shirt.

All football.com

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