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Xavi insists Lionel Messi ‘has the upper hand’ as Barcelona transfer negotiations continue

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Barcelona boss Xavi believes Lionel Messi has the upper hand as negotiations between the player’s father and Barca president Joan Laporta continue.

Hopes of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner making an emotional return to Camp Nou continue to rise and head coach Xavi was happy to provide an update after taking charge of his side’s 2-0 friendly victory over Vissel Kobe on Tuesday.

Xavi told reporters after the game: “The situation is in the hands of the president and Leo’s father, so we’ll see, we’ll see how it turns out, but ultimately Leo has the upper hand.”

It seems what many thought was inconceivable really could happen as Messi’s father, Jorge, continues negotiations after meeting Laporta in Barcelona on Monday. The player appears to have made it clear that a return to Catalunya is a priority over lucrative offers from MLS and the Saudi Pro League. On the other side of the deal, the Barca board are edging closer to making any agreement adhere to La Liga’s rigorous financial controls.

After flying across the world for an exhibition match less than 48 hours after their final league game, the Barça squad can now take some time off and hope there’s a familiar face to greet them when they return for pre-season training.

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