Lionel Messi has requested Barcelona to keep hold of 2 star players as he ponders potential summer return - Reports

Lionel Messi wants Barcelona to keep hold of legendary Spanish duo.
Lionel Messi wants Barcelona to keep hold of legendary Spanish duo.

Lionel Messi has reportedly requested Barcelona to keep hold of Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets beyond the current season as he ponders a sensational return to Catalonia.

The trio won five league and one UEFA Champions League together before the Argentine icon left in 2021. Messi had joined Barca in 2000, five years before Busquets' arrival at La Masia.

Alba was the latest to arrive at Barcelona out of the three, doing so in the summer of 2012 when he left Valencia. According to El Futbolero, Messi wants Barca to keep hold of the duo, which could prove to be a tricky proposition.

The Blaugrana have planned on parting ways with Alba this summer, especially due to Alejandro Balde's emergence in the first team. The 34-year-old, who was being forced by Barca to join Inter Milan last summer, has started just 11 La Liga games this term.

Alba's contract expires at the end of next season, but his race seems to have been run at the Camp Nou. Busquets, also 34, is pondering his future with Barcelona and could leave as a free agent this summer.

Manager Xavi Hernandez has publicly said that the Spanish midfielder has the complete freedom to extend his stay beyond the summer. It remains to be seen if the club pay heed to Messi's supposed request to keep the two Spaniards for next season.

Messi's return to the La Liga giants is likely but is yet to be confirmed. His deal at Paris Saint-Germain expires at the end of the season, but he has reportedly rejected extension offers in favour of a return to Barcelona.

PSG superstar Lionel Messi denies conversation with Xavi over potential Barcelona return

Xavi Hernandez is reportedly part of a concerted effort from Barcelona to re-sign Lionel Messi. Reports have claimed that the two have held talks about the Argentine's potential return to the Camp Nou.

However, according to Spanish outlet SPORT (h/t Football-Espana), Messi has come out to deny claims that he talked to Xavi about such a proposition. He's currently enjoying a superb domestic season with Les Parisiens.

The 35-year-old has 14 goals and as many assists in 25 Ligue 1 games. However, the season will go down as a rather forgettable one for fans, who saw the team exit the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals.

Messi was ineffective in both legs as Bayern won 3-0 on aggregate. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's apparent decision not to extend his contract with PSG so far has also irked the club's fans.

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Edited by Aniket Rai
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