- Messi to leave PSG this summer
- Barcelona hope to bring him back
- Argentine to decide his future next week
WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentina forward is all set to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of this month but is yet to resolve his future. He has been offered a €500 million (£435m/$541m) salary from Saudi Arabia but Barcelona are also keen to get him back on a spectacular deal that would require them to rework their financial situation.
Xavi insisted that Messi will always be welcome at the Catalan club but the final decision rests on the forward. Barcelona have reportedly requested him to hold on until Monday before making a decision and the manager revealed on the same lines that the 35-year-old will make a final call sometime next week.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I have already said many times, he has the doors open here, I am the coach and I know that he will help us if he decides to come, but in the end I think we have to leave him a little alone. He ends the season there, he has a lot of respect for Paris Saint-Germain, he wants to finish in the best way, his contract ends and then he has earned all the right in the world to say where to go, where to end his career," he told Mundo Deportivo.
"I think that he has football to continue at a high level and that if he comes to Barça, what most or all of the Catalans want, especially the coach, the doors are open, I am convinced that he is going to do well.
"He told me that next week he will make a decision and we have to leave him alone. In the end, if we talk about Leo every day, every day, I think he doesn't add up either. In the end he will decide next week and now there are 200 hypotheses. In the end, he will decide his future and here the doors are open, there is no more debate."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona have also been linked with Manchester City's Silva as well as Kimmich and Martin Zubimendi. With Sergio Busquets leaving the club, signing a holding midfielder is a top priority. Xavi admitted that the club will get into negotiations but to get them will be "very difficult".
"It would be wonderful, but he is also a City player, very difficult," he stated when asked about the possibility of getting Silva.
When further pressed about Kimmich and Zubimendi he replied: "Here then the clubs get angry with me, as the sports director of Real Sociedad got angry with me. In the end you ask me, you ask me again... we are talking about names that are number one in their position, Zubimendi and Kimmich who is a top super top and also understands the fantastic game.
"We need a top-level replacement, a footballer who has been a starter all season (Busquets) is leaving, important, very leader of this Barça that has won the League and Super Cup. We need a high-level player in that position, otherwise, it will be difficult for us to compete next year. If there can be any open door, there would have to be a negotiation with Bayern Munich."
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGettyGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? It seems that the next week will be vital regarding Messi's future as Barcelona are likely to table an offer to him. After considering the details, the 2022 World Cup winner might decide on his future.