·3 June 2023
·3 June 2023
Now that Barcelona have already won La Liga, Xavi and co. have started to prepare for the summer transfer window and the 2023/24 season.
The Catalans are heading into the final game of the season, one that could determine Celta Vigo’s safety in La Liga, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s incredible clean sheet record.
On the game, he said, “The goal tomorrow is to win and give a good image. And others like keeping a clean sheet, winning Lewandowski’s Pichichi award… Celta are in a difficult situation, but we want to win.”
The questions shifted to Lionel Messi very quickly, with Xavi confirming that he is quite excited about Leo returning.
“The priorities are very clear. I would really like Messi to return, I have spoken with him, and I have already said that it depends on him. From here, apart from Leo, the other priority is a pivot. That would be the ideal scenario.”
“I’m not responsible for the financial issue. I only know that Messi would help us a lot in terms of football,” he added.
La Liga are yet to approve Barcelona’s feasibility plan, due for approval next week according to reports. And for that reason, Xavi could not talk too much about the club’s transfer planning.
“I can’t talk much about planning, signings and departures, because we depend on La Liga and the feasibility plan. Things will be decided from there.”
“At the club they are optimistic about the feasibility plan, but it’s not there yet. The president gives me peace of mind and confidence, in every way and also in this one. I’m not worried, I’m waiting.”
For the pivot position, Xavi’s reported favourite is Martin Zubimendi, but Ruben Neves’ name has popped up on multiple occasions recently. On the Portuguese midfielder, the Spanish boss said:
“Neves? I can’t talk about names. The club knows my priorities in positions and names. They know my position because I always try to be very clear.”
Ter Stegen is chasing the record for the most clean sheets in the history of the Spanish top flight, which currently stands at 26. One more clean sheet to his name, and the German would be standing at the peak of this bizarre feat.
“Ter Stegen will play tomorrow,” Xavi confirmed, as well.
One standout controversial incident in football has been Jose Mourinho’s words on the referees after the UEFA Europa League final, which Roma lost to Sevilla. That sparked a series of horrible behaviour against referee Anthony Taylor, with fans sending him abuses and chasing his family at the airport.
Xavi was asked to comment on the issue, and he said, “Mourinho? Coaches, like players, have to be an example. It doesn’t matter how hurt you feel.”
Lamine Yamal has not been called up to the final game of the season by Xavi, even though the player is off duty from the U17 Spanish national team, who lost 1-3 against France in the U17 European Championship.
The manager confirmed, though, that he will be regular part of the senior team next season, interchanging with Barça Atletic.
“The idea is for Lamine Yamal to be between Barça Atlètic and the first team because he can help us a lot.”