Lionel Messi has been given a stark warning by Barcelona legend Xavi over his future at the Nou Camp.
The Catalan giants endured a chastening season during 2016-17, witnessing arch-rivals Real Madrid win both the league and the Champions League, with a comfortable 4-1 thrashing of Italian champions Juventus.
with Luis Enrique now departed, and former Athetico Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde taking the helm, Xavi has warned his former teammate that the club must now start focusing on youth, according to Don Balon.
Valverde has been widely expected to implement a transfer overhaul at Barcelona but has been largely frustrated in his attempts so far.
Moves for Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, a former youth player at the Nou Camp, and PSG’s highly rated playmaker Marco Verratti have yet to materialise. Thus far, Valverde has completed the resigning of Gerard Deulofeu from Everton and Benfica’s promising right-back Nelson Semedo for €30m.
Messi remains a deeply influential figure at the club, and agreed a new long-term contract only earlier this month.
Yet rumours persist that the Argentine has been frustrated with Valverde’s strategy so far, and PSG’s rumoured world record move for Neymar will hardly have improved his mood.