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Barcelona transfer news: La Masia stars Dani Olmo and Xavi Simons show Barca what they’re missing

Dani Olmo Xavi Simons RB Leipzig
© IMAGO

Barcelona fans were left ruing what might have been while watching the performances of Dani Olmo and Xavi Simons during RB Leipzig’s Champions League last-16 clash against Real Madrid.

Although the Red Bulls were eliminated over two legs, they were unlucky to go out against the 14-time champions with Olmo and Xavi particularly impressive across 180 minutes.

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Olmo, 25, has suffered a severely injury-hit campaign, missing most of the autumn with a shoulder problem, but he is beginning to look back to his old self.

READ MORE: Champions League top scorers 2023/24

He scored a hat-trick in the DFB Super Cup against Bayern Munich in August and has recently come back into form following a long layoff.

Xavi, meanwhile, has been one of the most impressive players in the Bundesliga this season during his season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, with eight goals and 12 assists across 34 matches in all competitions.

The pair operate behind a front two for Leipzig, wreaking havoc against opposition between the lines, scoring and setting up chances in abundance.

Frustratingly for Barcelona, these two top stars walked out of the club for NOTHING having graduated through la Masia.

Olmo and Xavi decide to leave Barcelona

Olmo played from Barca from the age of nine but left aged 16 in 2014 for the unfamiliar surroundings of Dinamo Zagreb when it became apparent he would not get a smooth path to the Barca first team.

He shone for the Croatian giants, winning five league titles, before earning a big-money move to Leipzig.

Catalan-born Olmo has since established himself as one of the best playmakers in Europe and a consistent Spain international too.

Xavi left in 2019 in an ambitious attempt to break through at PSG just after his 16th birthday. It initially didn’t work out and he moved to PSV in the Netherlands where the Amsterdam-born attacker began to thrive.

PSG had negotiated a buyback clause in the deal to sell him to the Eindhoven club and exercised it last summer. He moved on a loan to Leipzig and he hasn’t looked back since.

Barca’s bleak financial outlook

With Kylian Mbappe set to walk out the door for nothing, Dutch international Simons will return to the Parc des Princes next season in order to become part of a new-look attack.

And how Barca fans must regret the sight of two of their finest recent academy graduates lining up against Real in the Bernabeu in the colours of RB Leipzig.

Their chances of signing Olmo and Xavi are practically non-existent given the scale of the financial problems dogging the club currently.

Club president Joan Laporta would appear to be out of “levers” to pull with Barca’s spending restricted and their wage bill slashed.

Olmo is under contract with the Red Bull-operated outfit until 2027, having signed a renewal in 2023, and his deal includes a €60 million buyout which becomes active this summer.

Barca have no chance of affording that right now.

Likewise, any attempt to bring Xavi home from PSG looks fanciful. He, too, is under contract until 2027 and it would take a bid in excess of €60m to make him a Barcelona player again.

Olmo and Xavi were reported to be part of manager Xavi Hernandez’s spending plans last summer but the potless Catalans could only afford loans and free transfers aside from the modest capture of Oriol Romeu for around €3.4m.

How different things could have been had previous presidential incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu done things differently and recognised the potential he had in these two la Masia stars, who boast the much-vaunted Barcelona DNA.

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