Argentina manager Edgardo Bauza has said he is confident Lionel Messi will change his mind and opt to return to the Albiceleste team, and could do so in time to be named on the list of players for September World Cup qualifying matches.
Bauza flew to Spain to meet Argentina players in Barcelona on Thursday and reassure them there would be order in the national team despite ongoing chaos in the football federation.
He said he did not pressure Messi to reconsider his decision to retire from international duty and had "only talked football" with the striker, but claimed he wanted to return.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he wants to return to play for the national team," Bauza told reporters in Argentina. "I saw him with a great desire to return."
AFA said they will reveal the 18-man squad on Friday afternoon.
A las 18 horas, comunicado mediante, Bauza informará la lista de convocados para los juegos vs. Uruguay y Venezuela: https://t.co/klpVEFRWLw
- Selección Argentina (@Argentina) August 12, 2016
Bauza, who took over as national team coach after the resignation of Gerardo Martino last month, said he would contact Messi on Friday.
"I don't want to get ahead of myself," he added. "At noon, I will call him before I finish the list."
Messi, 29, announced his retirement from international football after missing a penalty in the shootout defeat to Chile in this summer's Copa America Centenario final -- the third consecutive loss for Argentina in a major final.
Argentina are preparing for September qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela, and Friday is the CONMEBOL deadline to name the 18-man squad for the matches.
Messi made reference to federation problems a few days before the Copa final, saying the AFA was "a disaster" after the team suffered delayed flights and experienced problems finding opponents for training games.
Traditionally, Argentina take a group of juniors to tournaments to serve as sparring partners for the senior side.
The federation, which had been led by Julio Grondona since the 1970s, has been in turmoil since his death in 2014.
In June, FIFA stepped in and named a committee to run its daily affairs with a stipulation that elections must be held by July 2017.
Argentina legend Diego Maradona claimed the chaos within the federation was institutional and that Messi had been right to comment on it.