Barcelona and Lionel Messi continue to wait on La Liga approval of financial plan

Barcelona are confident their financial plans will be approved within days by La Liga, enabling them to begin their transfer business which will include the re-signing of Lionel Messi, according to reports.

Barça have a number of summer plans in place but need La Liga to sanction them. Previous contracts for Gavi and Ronald Araujo weren’t rubber-stamped and threw the futures of both players into jeopardy.

90min understands those new deals for Gavi and Araujo remain among Barça’s top priorities along with fresh terms for breakout defender Alejandro Balde.

However, the first order of business at Camp Nou is bringing Lionel Messi back to Catalonia.

Barça have been locked in talks with Messi’s camp for months and confidence is very high that they will soon confirm his signing, but the wait continues for all involved. That includes manager Xavi, who hopes to be coaching his former teammate in the near future.

“Leo Messi will decide his future next week. He has 100% my OK to join us,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“He knows we’re ready to welcome him. Nothing has changed, we have chances. We want Leo here. Let him decide. I’m ready to include him in our system.”

Xavi suggested their interest in Bernardo Silva and Joshua Kimmich may be dependent on Messi, also revealing that finding a successor for Sergio Busquets this summer is a priority.

He added: “If Leo doesn’t come, a player of that profile would be needed. Bernardo? It would be wonderful but it’s very difficult. Kimmich is a super top player and understands the game in a fantastic way. If there is an open door, there will be a negotiation with Bayern.

“Vitor Roque? A new striker is not a priority. We need a top replacement for Busquets, for sure. It’s a priority.”

Talks are ongoing over a free transfer deal for Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, while Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi has also been tipped as a potential Busquets replacement. Wolves’ Ruben Neves has also been linked, though Xavi hinted the Portugal international isn’t a key target.

“Well, he’s a good player,” he said on Neves. “Would he adapt to our style? We’ll see. We have different names: plan A, plan B, plan C.”

Xavi also spoke on Raphinha’s future, insisting the Brazilian won’t be sold to raise funds for a move for Messi only a year on from joining from Leeds.

“Raphinha is not on the market. He’s staying at Barcelona and he’s gonna help us a lot,” he added. “He’s a crucial player for me, but really a very important player. He makes the difference.”

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