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Barcelona see Messi’s return as a real option, Xavi plans to use him as a ‘playmaker

With the rumours surrounding the future of PSG superstar Lionel Messi not going away, Fernando Polo of Mundo Deportivo has come up with a fresh update on the Argentine’s situation and a possible return to Barcelona in the summer.

As per the report, Barcelona are pushing to sign Messi as a free agent before next season and believe that his return to the club is a serious option.

With the squad planning for the next campaign starting to take place, Messi’s is said to be included in the discussions among the club’s staff and officials.

While the player’s environment continue to maintain a low profile on the matter, insisting that nothing is decided, the 35-year-old is aware of Barcelona’s interest and the moves that they are making to take him back to the club.

The fact that the Argentina captain has not renewed with PSG despite having an offer on the table for a while has only increased the optimism within the Barça camp.

In fact, the report states that Messi has spoken to members of the locker room and a return has been discussed at some point during those conversations, with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner not closing the door on the possibility, despite the poor relationship with Joan Laporta.

Manager Xavi Hernandez also believes that his former teammate returning to the club in the summer is a real possibility. And the 43-year-old is planning the role of the Argentina captain, with the report stating that he wants to use Messi as the fourth midfielder in his setup.

The Barça boss had reportedly been eyeing Bernardo Silva for the role, but signing the Manchester City ace is seen as impossible. Instead, Xavi wants to deploy Messi as a ‘playmaker’ in midfield, who can help dominate the ball along with Pedri, while also scoring plenty of goals.

Apart from the tactical side, Xavi also wants to ensure that Messi’s return does not change the atmosphere in the locker room.

The Argentine allegedly had issues with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the past and the manager wants that relationship to be improved and strengthened. Xavi insists that the team must remain like a family.

The major hurdle in the deal going through will be La Liga’s Financial Fair Play. And Barcelona will likely have to make a big sale, apart from getting rid of the unwanted players, in order to make room for Messi’s return.

For now, ‘Operation Messi’ seems to be underway at Camp Nou and only time will tell if it will be a success or not.

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