Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez said the doors are open to Lionel Messi to return to Camp Nou.
Xavi was speaking ahead of the Clasico when Barcelona face LaLiga leaders Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Messi has endured a disappointing season at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) although Barcelona’s financial situation would make re-signing the Argentinian difficult.
LaLiga’s latest spending restrictions published last week set Barcelona’s limit at -$159 million. It means the club will have to make considerable savings to sign anyone in the next transfer window.
Messi was let go in 2021 as Barcelona could not afford to renew his contract, bringing an emotional end to the striker’s historic career at Camp Nou.
Asked if he would open the door to Messi coming back, Xavi said: ” Messi is the best player in history and the history of Barcelona football club, Messi earned the right to have the doors open to him.
“As long as I am coaching the doors are open to Messi if he wants to come any day. He is the best in history and as a club, we owe him a great tribute, he deserves it, but he has a contract with PSG, so there is little more I can tell you.
“If he wants to come any day, to see training, talk to the coach, the doors are open because he is the best player in the history of the club.”
Without Messi, Barcelona struggled for much of the season but Xavi, who was appointed in November, has overseen a significant upturn in form.
Barcelona sit third, on course to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and will be hopeful of landing a statement victory against Real Madrid, who will be without their star striker Karim Benzema.