Barcelona head coach Xavi wants the media to stop linking Lionel Messi with a return to the club, urging them to ‘leave him in peace’.
Lionel Messi left Barça in the summer of 2021 after his contract expired and the club could not hand him a new one due to financial constraints. He then signed for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
But Lionel Messi has been heavily linked with a return to Catalonia since arriving in France, and Xavi has again been asked about the prospect ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League trip to Inter.
“With Lee, we’ll see, but now’s not the time to talk about it,” he said.
“You know the love I have for him. He is a friend and I will always wish him the best. Barça is his home, but we also do him no favors when we talk about [his future].”
“Let’s leave him alone to enjoy his time in Paris and we wish him the best.” Messi’s first year at PSG was relatively slow by his own standards, scoring six goals and providing 14 assists in 26 Ligue 1 games.
His 2022/23 campaign has started much brighter, with five goals and seven assists already.
Meanwhile, Barcelona moved to the top of the La Liga table after beating Mallorca, while rivals Real Madrid could only manage a draw at home to Osasuna.