FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has stoked the fire in rumours claiming that Lionel Messi may be planning a Camp Nou comeback. While talking to the press ahead of Sunday night's El Clasico, Xavi said that Messi will always be welcome at his former club.

"He is the best in history and he'll always be welcome at Barcelona," Xavi said, as quoted by Marca. He further explained that he is personally keeping the doors open for his former teammate. "As long as I'm coach, it doesn't matter if he wants to come here every day. I think we owe him a huge amount," he said.

When asked about the possibility of re-signing Messi as a player, Xavi was more coy about the situation. "He has a contract with PSG and there is little we can say."

Messi moved to PSG last summer after it became clear that Barcelona could not afford to offer him a contract extension. However, he has failed to kick off his career in Paris, and was even booed by the crowd last week in PSG's 3-0 victory in Ligue 1 over Bordeaux.

Following the incident, rumours started to surface claiming that Messi's father has been in touch with Barcelona president Joan Laporta about the possibility of coming back. However, Xavi refused to comment on re-signing Messi as a player. "Like whether he wants to come here every day to watch the training sessions and talk to the coach [he is welcome]. What he has given us is priceless," said Xavi.

The manager also refused to comment on how Messi will fit into his rebuilding project. The club has improved by leaps and bounds since the former player took over late last year. On Sunday, they thrashed Real Madrid 4-0 in their first El Clasico victory in two years.

Xavi himself was shocked by his side's dominance, but remains focused on staying within the Champions League spots. Barcelona were humiliated earlier this season after they were relegated to the Europa League, and Xavi is determined to put the team back in the top tier competition.

Back in La Liga, they have climbed up to third place with a clear chance to snatch second away from Sevilla. It has been a massive turnaround for the squad, and Xavi plans to make more improvements in the upcoming summer transfer window. It is unclear if Messi can be reincorporated back into that plan. Furthermore, PSG will also have to be on board.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi's first season at PSG has not turned out as planned AFP / Alain JOCARD