Lionel Messi has reportedly requested Barcelona sign his fellow Argentina teammates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes ahead of his potential return.
According to El Nacional, Xavi is eager to sign Messi, 35, as a free agent in the summer. The Argentine icon’s contract with PSG expires and he has decided he will not be signing a renewal.
However, their pursuit of Messi has hit a stumbling block recently following the announced departures of his close friends. Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba will be leaving Camp Nou this summer. Hence, Barcelona are now being requested to sign Messi’s fellow 2022 FIFA World Cup winners Di Maria, 35, and Paredes, 28.
Di Maria is leaving his current club Juventus at the end of the season when his contract expires. The former Real Madrid winger has opted not to remain at the Allianz Stadium. He has been in fine form despite injury issues, bagging eight goals and seven assists in 38 games across competitions.
However, a lack of Champions League football next season has played its part in his decision to leave Juve. They were recently hit by a 10-point deduction and sit seventh in Serie A.
Meanwhile, Paredes has spent the season on loan at the Old Lady from PSG. He has featured 33 times across competitions, scoring one goal and providing one assist. The Argentine midfielder has decided he doesn’t want to continue with Massimiliano Allegri’s side. He also doesn’t want to return to the Parc des Princes as Messi will not be there. Barca may view him as a potential replacement for Busquets.
Lionel Messi wants his fellow countrymen to join him in his blockbuster return to Barcelona. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner clearly wants familiar faces to support him at Camp Nou in his second spell with the Blaugrana.
Lionel Messi has sent a touching message to Alba following the announcement that he will be leaving Barcelona. The Spanish left-back has spent 11 years with the Catalan giants, winning the La Liga title six times as well as one Champions League.
Messi played alongside Alba for nine seasons and the pair grew close during their time together at Camp Nou. The Argentine legend has wished the full-back well as he departs the Blaugrana. He uploaded an image of the duo on Instagram with the caption:
Alba will now make a decision over his future with reports suggesting that three European heavyweights are interested. Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, and Inter Milan are mooted as options for the veteran defender.
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