Messi will need to resolve differences with two ex-teammates if Barcelona return materialises
Over the past week, the speculations surrounding Lionel Messi and a potential return to Barcelona have been gaining strength.
Barça vice-president Rafa Yuste openly admitted on Friday that the club had re-established contact with Messi’s camp over a possible return. Later in the day, manager Xavi Hernandez also insisted that the doors are always open for the Argentine to come back.
Soon after that, more reports emerged stating that Messi will accept an offer as soon as the Blaugrana send one to him.
Now, Cat Radio has provided more details about Barcelona and Xavi’s plans, in particular, if Messi’s return materialises before the summer transfer window.
For starters, the report states that the Argentina captain will have to resolve any differences with his former teammates as the manager wants the dressing room to be united.
It is well-known that Messi did not have the best of equations with Marc-Andre ter Stegen before his exit, while the report adds that there was some tension between the former captain and Ousmane Dembele as well.
But, now Ter Stegen is one of the club captains and Dembele is a key cog in Xavi’s plans. So, it becomes important for Messi to set aside all differences if he does return to Barça.
Furthermore, Xavi believes that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will fit perfectly into the new tactical scheme that sees him deploy four central midfielders. The manager sees Messi operate in one of the two advanced midfield positions where Pedri and Gavi operate currently.
However, the 35-year-old will need to contribute in the defensive phase and work hard off the ball like the other players do – it is considered non-negotiable.
The futures of Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets, who are two of Messi’s closest friends, would also likely be needed to be defined completely before talks of a return develop.
Xavi has been in constant contact with Messi through the phone, but plans to meet his former teammate face-to-face in the coming weeks, once Barcelona have the La Liga title in the bag to discuss his return and the aforementioned points so that the operation can go ahead smoothly.