Football   |   May 17, 2023

Xavi Hernandez Initiates Barcelona Squad Overhaul to Make Way for Lionel Messi’s Return

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is taking decisive action to reshape his squad and accommodate the potential signing of Lionel Messi this summer. Scheduled meetings have been arranged between Xavi and four key first-team players, as the club aims to create financial breathing room for the much-anticipated return of the superstar forward.

Mirror Football reports that Messi is likely to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the expiration of his current contract, despite Barcelona’s strong desire to secure his services. However, the club’s precarious financial situation poses a significant obstacle to their pursuit of the Argentine, as they continue to grapple with ongoing financial difficulties. Follow your favourite La Liga team with the best football betting odds from Sbobet.

After joining Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal in 2021, Messi’s contract renewal is no longer a top priority for the French club. Consequently, they are now shifting their focus towards team-building efforts that do not include the iconic forward.

In April, Barcelona’s transfer officials confirmed their contact with Messi regarding a potential reunion at the Camp Nou. While an offer from Saudi Arabia is also on the table, Messi reportedly prefers to remain in European football, indicating his interest in returning to Barcelona.

Significant arrivals at the Camp Nou are contingent upon the departure of existing players. According to a Sport report from December, Barcelona needs to reduce their salary expenditure from €600 million to €400 million for the upcoming season to register new players and contracts.

Fortunately, the retirement of Gerard Pique and the imminent departure of club captain Sergio Busquets will help narrow this financial gap. However, it is anticipated that at least four more first-team players will need to be offloaded before new contracts, both for existing and new players, can be registered.

Barcelona has already secured an agreement to sign Inigo Martinez, a Spanish international defender whose contract with Athletic Bilbao will expire in June. Additionally, the club is optimistic about reaching a deal for Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan. Although Gundogan is content at his current club, the midfielder is open to a move to the LaLiga champions amid contractual uncertainties, and talks have taken place between the involved parties.

In addition to potential new signings, Barcelona must prioritize the registration of new contracts for rising talents Gavi and Ronald Araujo. Failure to do so could leave the club vulnerable to losing these promising stars for reduced transfer fees. Furthermore, the absence of matches at Camp Nou next season will result in a significant reduction of matchday revenue, potentially costing the club up to €50 million.

According to a report from Catalan outlet Sport, Xavi is now preparing to hold discussions with Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Franck Kessie, and Jordi Alba. During these meetings, Xavi will inform the players that they do not feature in his plans for the upcoming season, as the club looks to generate funds for bolstering the squad.

The aforementioned Sport report provides a detailed account of Xavi’s intentions, highlighting his determination to free up resources and strengthen the team. Follow Sbobet Sports for all the latest updates from the world of football.