Xavi has indicated that he would be open to the possibility of Lionel Messi returning to Barcelona, though admitted that a deal is currently “impossible”.
Messi ended a 21-year association with the club last summer, departing on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain after financial difficulties left Barcelona unable to renew his contract.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner endured an injury-disrupted first campaign in the French capital, scoring just eleven times in all competitions; his worst return since the 2005-06 season.
Joan Laporta, president of the Catalan club, suggested recently that he was keen for Messi to return to Barcelona for a “more beautiful ending” to his career.
And while seemingly dismissing any immediate prospect of the Argentina captain returning to the club, Xavi did not rule out a potential reunion with his former team-mate.
“At the moment, signing Leo Messi is impossible,” Xavi, who was appointed Barcelona manager last November, said. “He has a contract with Paris [Saint-Germain].
“We will see in the future. It’s not the time to talk about him.”
Messi signed a two-year deal when joining PSG last summer, with the possibility of a further year’s extension.
Laporta nonetheless fuelled speculation that the 35-year-old’s Barcelona career had not reached a full stop when he suggested it was his “responsibility” to make amends for a shock, unplanned departure from the club.
“Messi was everything,” Laporta said to ESPN.
“To Barca, he’s been possibly its greatest player, the most efficient. To me he’s only comparable to Johan Cruyff. But it had to happen one day. We had to make a decision as a consequence of what we inherited. The institution is in charge of players, coaches.
“I would hope that the Messi chapter isn’t over. I think it’s our responsibility to try to… find a moment to fix that chapter, which is still open and hasn’t closed, so it turns out like it should have, and that it has a more beautiful ending.”
Barcelona have secured the signings of Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski this summer, while Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen have joined the club on free transfers.
The quartet have arrived despite yet more financial issues for the club, which is saddled with significant debt and owes Frenkie de Jong a reported £17 million in deferred wage payments.
The club continue to be linked with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Chelsea pair Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta as Xavi eyes defensive reinforcements to achieve his “dream” of winning trophies as manager of the club.
“The club is working very hard to keep on making the team stronger,” the 42-year-old said. “As of now, I am very happy with how the team is training and competing on the pitch.
“Players want to come here because this is an exciting project. We are not in the best place right now, but it is still Barca. My dream is for Barcelona to win titles.”