Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has revealed that he would be holding discussions with Lionel Messi at the turn of the year in order to convince the Barcelona star to return to the national team fold. The 31-year-old has declined to feature for the nation since their disappointing exit at the summer World Cup and during this period, Scaloni has taken interim charge of the country before earning the role on a permanent basis.

Speaking to reporters, Scaloni highlighted that he does not hold a regular communication line with the Barcelona superstar but they nevertheless have a fruitful connection between themselves. He added that fresh talks are planned with the attacker in the New Year after he previously met with his compatriot during the Copa Liberatores final in Madrid earlier in December.

“I do not talk very often with Messi, but we have a relationship. We are going to try for him to join us in 2019, we have pending talks and we are optimistic that it will be positive. For us it is something important. Any coach would like to coach him, myself more than any,” Scaloni was quoted as saying by ESPN.

“Messi had received the bout of criticism after the South American nation were ousted from the World Cup at the round of 16 stage itself“. Thereafter, there had been the suggestion that the attacker could retire from national team duty but so far, that does not appear the case with “the Argentine federation hopeful“ of the attacker making the comeback.

Argentina have struggled to cross the final hurdle after suffering defeats during the final of the previous two editions of the Copa America but they have the chance to redeem themselves when they prepare for the 2019 tournament in Brazil. The hosts would no doubt be favourites for the continental crown but the presence of Messi could enhance Argentina’s prospects of going all the way.