Barcelona wants a Santi Cazorla-type player, according to Xavi Hernandez, if they are to build on their success in LaLiga this season. The Barcelona manager led the club to their first league victory since 2019. However he believes they need to strengthen the squad this summer if they are to progress in Europe after two consecutive group-stage exits in the Champions League.
Xavi Hernandez wants a Santi Cazorla-type midfielder
After missing out on Lionel Messi, who revealed his decision to join Inter Miami on Wednesday. Xaxi stated that he is looking for an attacking midfielder and also a successor for Sergio Busquets, whose contract expires this month.
“I would sign a Santi Cazorla for Barca,” Xavi told told Jijantes. He coached the former Arsenal midfielder in Qatar. Cazorla is still playing with Al Sadd in Qatar, where he signed in 2020 while Xavi was the head coach.
“He is the best player I’ve worked with as a manager. You cannot put a price on him. With the exception of Messi, Busquets and [Andres] Iniesta, he’s the player I’ve most fallen in love with. He has a talent that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the game.”
Xavi has regularly stated his desire to draw Messi back to the club in recent weeks. But with the Argentina striker leaving for Major League Soccer, Barcelona will have to look elsewhere. According to ESPN, the club has held conversations with Ilkay Gundogan, whose contract with Manchester City expires this month. Hence Barcelona are still interested in signing the German midfielder. However, City manager Pep Guardiola has stated ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Inter Milan that he hopes Gundogan will continue at the club. Barcelona is also keen to sign another City midfielder, Bernardo Silva. But their financial difficulties makes a deal for the Portugal international challenging.
Barcelona must sign a pivot for next season
They can only spend 40% of any money they save or create because they have exceeded their LaLiga-imposed spending restriction for next season. Xavi has also stated his desire to acquire a pivot midfielder to replace Busquets. The defensive midfielder is in negotiations with Inter Miami and two Saudi Arabian clubs.
“We will strengthen but people have to understand the financial situation is not easy, so we will see what we can do,” Xavi said.
“We need a Busquets replacement. A lot of names have come out: [Joshua] Kimmich, [Martin] Zubimendi, [Sofyan] Amrabat… it’s normal that names come out, but I have still not even been able to speak with the players that could leave.”
“We have meetings to see what we can do. I don’t know how many midfielders have been linked. So many media outlets live off Barca: television, radio, print… it’s impossible to control that. That is the magnitude of Barca.”
Barcelona coach is hopeful to sign Vitor Roque
Xavi stated that if their financial condition allows, Barcelona will attempt to add a striker in order to ease the pressure on top scorer Robert Lewandowski. Vitor Roque of Athletico Paranaense, who recently made his Brazil debut at the age of 18, is one of the options being considered by the club.
“He is on the shortlist,” Xavi added.
“We have a good level of coverage in the South American market and it’s a situation we have under control, but we come back to the same thing: it all depends on the financial situation.”
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