Barcelona planning United States pre-season tour with Leo Messi in the squad

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Photo by Hernan Cortez/Getty Images

FC Barcelona have been the subject of much speculation when it comes to the movements in and out of the club in the upcoming transfer window, with perhaps the biggest matter of discussion being the potential return of World Cup winner, Leo Messi.

Reports from Spanish outlet SPORT, suggest that the Catalan Giants are working tirelessly to make Leo Messi’s return to the club a reality. It is a difficult operation, which will require everything to be aligned perfectly for it to happen, including the green light from La Liga regarding Financial Fair Play situation. As things stand, it seems to be getting closer to becoming a reality with every passing day.

If everything goes to plan, Messi could even be available for the team’s tour in the United States in July. Xavi knows that he has a big job ahead of him to integrate Messi into the team’s tactics, which will require some modifications to the current system.

One possibility is that the team will play with a four-man midfield, as they have done for much of the season, however with some alterations. The team would switch to playing in a diamond formation, with Messi as the number 10, playing behind the forwards and providing them with balls while also being positioned closer to the final third.

Xavi wants to work on this during the first training sessions and the tour, where the team will likely play three friendly games, one of which could be against Real Madrid. Xavi sees the USA tour to build not only tactical proficiency but also a good level of squad harmony, given the current FC Barcelona squad is very different from the one Messi left behind. Most of the squad is, however, very keen to have the magician back.

Xavi is not the only one interested in including Messi before pre-season; the economic department is also keen for Messi to travel with the team to the United States. The department has drawn up a viability plan that will be approved by the league, and the marketing department is preparing to exploit Messi’s return to the team, not only in terms of sponsorships but also in terms of the image of the club.

The homecoming of football’s greatest ever back to his kingdom in Catalunya is a story with massive economic, as well as media traction. And what better place to exploit that than the United States, a growing football country where La Blaugrana have an ever-growing fanbase, making it the perfect place to showcase Messi’s return.

Although many things still need to happen before Leo’s return becomes a reality and all departments within the club are on high alert. The tour will not be the same without Messi, and the events and spaces required could change dramatically.

Messi will undoubtedly be the team’s main figurehead during the tour, which was already generating interest in the United States and is likely to multiply with his return. The Barcelona team and fans are eager for the confirmation of his return, and everyone is hoping that all the stars will align, making the return of the Argentine legend a reality.

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