FC Barcelona are hoping that certain decisions in the makeup of the squad will play a role in convincing Lionel Messi to return. The player himself has not asked for these decisions, but nonetheless, the club is hoping they will make things more appealing for the Argentine.
That’s according to a report which says that “it would have been very complicated” to imagine Messi returning if Gerard Piqué was still in the team.
The long-serving defender retired in the middle of the season after winning everything for club and country. But there are long-standing rumors of a feud between Piqué and Messi. In fact, it is said that Messi thinks the defender advocated for the club to kick him out.
On the other hand, the continued presence of two players next year could help convince Messi to leave Paris Saint-Germain. Those are Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
At the moment there is a renewal offer on the table for Busquets. He has expressed doubts about playing one more year in Europe, and he has big offers from MLS and Saudi Arabia. Should he stay, it would help Messi feel more comfortable.
Meanwhile, Barcelona tried to transfer Alba out last summer, due in large part to his huge contract. Alba refused a rumored move to Inter Milan. But now, Barcelona are said to be lowering the pressure to get him out. They might accept keeping him for the last year of his deal as a backup to Alejandro Balde. That would also reunite Messi with one of his old friends and partners on the pitch.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the manager of the club is another old friend: Xavi.