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Leo Messi: Barcelona's lifeline both on and off the pitch

Talk of a Leo Messi return to Barcelona is on the table for the Catalan club.

The Blaugrana are attempting to put the necessary steps in place to tempt the Argentinian back to Barcelona.

Messi's return would be a lifeline for Barcelona as club president, Joan Laporta, looks to regain the confidence of investors in Espai Barça and other potential future sponsors.

In the immediate aftermath of the Negreira case, which has impacted the club's governance and investor trust, talks linking Messi to the Camp Nou once again has eased the tension.

Rafa Yuste, Barcelona's sporting vice-president, has publicly acknowledged contacts with Messi just when the negotiation to obtain the 1.5 billion euros needed to build the stadium was being confirmed.

The influence of Xavi Hernandez

On a sporting level, Messi's return could be crucial for Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez.

At 35 years of age, the brilliance of the Argentinian legend remains evident for all to see and his presence in the Barcelona line-up would add the spark they so badly need.

Xavi is lacking quality in his team which is recovering from its 4-0 defeat to bitter rivals Real Madrid in the semi final of the Copa del Rey.

He has made it clear that the door is open for his ex-teammates return to Barcelona.

The pair formed a close relationship during their time playing together and Joan Laporta knows that any possibility of a Messi return must coincide with Xavi remaining as coach.

Joan Laporta and Lionel's father, Jorge Messi, met in Barcelona before the Easter holidays for a meeting in which the president spoke to him about arranging a tribute to the forward before he retires from European football.

However, there was no formal talk of a return to and there is yet to be an offer which would see the Argentinian return to his old club.

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