Lionel Messi may not be a Barcelona player yet, but he seems to already have a say in the club’s transfer business.
According to new reports in Spain, the PSG superstar, who has been linked with a return to Camp Nou this summer, has asked Barcelona to keep hold of Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets beyond the current season.
Messi knows Busquests and Alba very well and wants both players to be around when he signs for the club this summer. Together, the trio won five league titles and one UEFA Champions League before Messi left in 2021.
The Argentine icon joined Barca in 2000, five years before Busquets’Busquets arrived at La Masia. Left-back Alba arrived in Barcelona later in the summer of 2012 from Valencia.
According to El Futbolero via Sportsunfold, one of Messi’s wishes as he ponders a return is for Barca to keep hold of the duo. That could prove a tricky proposition for the Blaugrana, who have planned on parting ways with Alba this summer.
The Catalan club see Alejandro Balde as a perfect cover at left back and want to cut ties with Alba due to his wage demands. The 34-year-old has started just eleven La Liga games this term.
Barca forced him to join Inter Milan last summer in order to get a premium from him. But this summer, he could leave the club for next to nothing, given that his contract expires at the end of next season.
Meanwhile, Busquets, also 34, is considering his future with Barcelona and could leave as a free agent this summer.
Barca manager Xavi Hernandez has publicly said that the Spanish midfielder can extend his stay beyond the summer.
But it remains to be seen if the club heeds Messi’s supposed request to keep the two Spaniards for next season.