Xavi reveals how Lionel Messi will fit into Barcelona's line up

FOOTBALL Xavi reveals how Lionel Messi will fit into Barcelona's line up

Mark Kinyanjui 17:51 - 02.06.2023

The Barcelona manager has revealed that the Catalans would welcome him back 'with open arms'

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has revealed Lionel Messi will decide his future in the coming week.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday that the 35-year-old would leave the club at the end of the season.

The Argentine World Cup winner has been linked with a move back to Barcelona, who are reportedly willing to sign him as a free agent before loaning him to Inter Miami for 18 months.

Now the Barcelona boss has told Mundo Deportivo that Messi will make his mind up in the coming seven days - and there's nothing stopping a move back to LaLiga in the Spaniard's eyes, despite the club's well-documented financial troubles.

Xavi said: 'He will decide next week and now there are 200 hypotheses. In the end he will decide his future and here he has the doors open, there is no more debate. If it is the coach who has to give the OK to come, he has the OK at 100%."

When asked about what role he views Messi in, the 43-year-old said: "Well, in many positions he can adapt inside, he can play as a winger, he can play as a midfielder, he can play as a false nine, where he has played all his life.

"In the end, you have to find a natural habitat to enhance all your game, but I do see that it can help us a lot, I think we lack that talent in the last third and Leo always gives it to you."

Messi wants to make a sensational return to the Catalan giants but the club is locked in a battle with LaLiga to see if a move is financially viable.

Messi's only concrete offer as of yet is from Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal, with the Riyadh-based team offering a two-year deal worth £2 billion.

Spanish champions Barcelona have been at odds with LaLiga for the last few years over financial rules and the club, managed by Messi's former team-mate Xavi, must get a green light from the league on their economic plan before signing the star.

Xavi and Messi were teammates during a successful time for Barca and Messi could return to work under Xavi, who took the manager's job at Barca in November 2021, just a few months after the Argentine departed for PSG.

The retired midfielder also revealed in the interview that Barcelona's transfer plans would not change, even if Messi did not come to the club.

Messi's final PSG game will be against Clermont Foot on Saturday evening, the day before Barcelona's successful LaLiga campaign concludes with their trip to Celta Vigo.

Messi won 21 major trophies and six Ballons d'Or across 17 years during his time at Barcelona. Since joining PSG, he's claimed two Ligue 1 titles to add to his stunning list of achievements, and won the World Cup with Argentina last December.