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Barcelona hoping for Xavi U-turn

Stuart Telford
Xavi, Barcelona
© IMAGO/FootballTransfers

Xavi told Barcelona in January that he would leave the club at the end of the season, but vice president Rafa Yuste is still hoping that he has a change of heart.

Barca were on a poor run when Xavi first tendered his notice, with the 5-3 loss to Villarreal a sore one in its own right, let alone the fact that it was their third defeat in five games, which also included a Clasico reverse.

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Xavi had been backed as much as possible last summer, with Ilkay Gundogan arriving on a free from Manchester City while Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix were drafted in on loan from City and Atletico Madrid respectively.

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Oriol Romeu was brought back to the club from Girona for €3.4m to plug the gap left by the Inter Miami-bound Sergio Busquets. Given the Blaugrana’s €1.2 billion debt, they might have felt they backed the manager.

‘Point of no return’?

But he didn’t agree in January. “I will leave Barcelona in June,” he said. “We have reached a point of no return. It’s time for change. As a Culé, I think that it’s time to leave…”

But since then, Barca have been on a tear, undefeated in 10 games ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Las Palmas, pulling up to second in La Liga and winning through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and vice president Yuste hope Xavi changes his mind.

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“I hope and wish that he continues here because we’re talking about a long-term project with him, not a season or two,” he said. “We’re going to try to convince Xavi, but it’s up to him.”

Barca have been linked with a move for Hansi Flick or Thomas Tuchel, the former out of work after being sacked by Germany and the latter soon to be available at the conclusion of his Bayern Munich tenure.

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