Barcelona boss Xavi adamant on ‘‘two signings in midfield’’ after Lionel Messi deal collapsed and Sergio Busquets left this year

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is adamant that the club must make at least two midfield signings after they failed to bring in Lionel Messi.

After the departure of captain Sergio Busquets and the failure to bring Lionel Messi back to the club, Barcelona needs to make some big changes for a stronger chance to bring their squad back to the top.

Xavi had wanted both Messi to come back and Busquets to renew. But neither happened, which means he must look to other players.

The La Liga victory shows that the club is on the right path. But, to stay competitive they need to make more signings. The team has also seen the likes of Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba leave. More players could also leave in the summer.

Who can replace Sergio Busquets?

Busquets is a player that is a unique profile. While Barca has many talented midfielders, none of them fit the profile of Sergio perfectly. As such, the club has to identify a replacement with Busquets’s quality as Xavi has demanded.

Barcelona has allegedly targeted eight players in their search for a successor for Sergio Busquets. So far, the Catalan club has been interested in Martin Zubimendi, Joshua Kimmich, Guido Rodriguez, Marcelo Brozovic, Ruben Neves, Sofyan Amrabat, Arthur Vermeeren, and N’Golo Kante.

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Martin Zubimendi is considered the player most similar in profile to Busquets. He also plays for La Liga club Real Sociedad and has been phenomenal for them. But he seems unwilling to move and has a release clause of 60 million euros, a price Barca cannot afford amid their financial situation.

Joshua Kimmich is a surprise addition considering his importance to Bayern Munich. He is a versatile player and could be a dream signing for the club. While there are rumors of Kimmich wanting to leave, Bayern will likely try to hold on to him at any cost.

The rest of the players are considered as possible alternatives should the first two fail to materialize. Considering Barca’s financial situation and the fact that they are also trying to bring back Lionel Messi, they have a lot of tough decisions to make.

Why did Lionel Messi’s deal fall through?

A return to his childhood club Barcelona was very much on the cards. Both the player and the club were actively working to make the deal possible. But for various reasons, the deal eventually collapsed.

The biggest reason is no doubt Barcelona’s financial situation. The club is still suffering from the aftereffects of many years of financial mismanagement. It was the primary reason Messi had to leave Barcelona in the first place in 2021.

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Barcelona tried long and hard to convince La Liga of their plan to register Messi. They came up with a viability plan that was eventually accepted by La Liga after a protracted decision. 

But there was no official guarantee that Messi could be provided what he will be signed.

Messi explained that he did want a Barcelona return, but added he didn’t want anyone from Barcelona to be sold or have their salaries lowered because of him. He also realized that he would have to wait longer for an official contract to come, which could take a few more months.

He also explained how he didn’t want a repeat of the 2021 exit. That year, everything seemed to point to Messi not parting ways with his club. But at the last minute, things collapsed and Messi had to leave the club where he initially made his name.

Messi also wanted to be out of the spotlight for the next years. He explained that he wanted to spend more time with his family and get out of the pressures and demands of a top European club. 

Which players does Xavi want to sign?

Xavi considers the midfield position the backbone of the team. And as such, he wants two midfielders as a priority.

In an interview with Movistar, “I need two signings in midfield. I lack an interior and with Busquets’ departure, we also need a pivot. This has to be the priority.”

Xavi knows the importance of the role Busquets played in the pivot position and considers it to be the priority in midfield. He also planned to make Messi into an interior midfielder but must now adapt to other players.

Xavi’s preference is already known to the board. He wants Martin Zubimendi as a priority for the pivot position. If not, he wants Joshua Kimmich, though that may be impossible.

As for the interior midfielder, he wants Ilkay Gundogan from Manchester City. The German has been in ballistic form for the Citizens, helping them win the Premier League and FA Cup this season. He would also arrive for free as he hasn’t renewed yet.

Barcelona will need to prepare for the summer. Given the current circumstances, it will be interesting to see how they adjust their lineup.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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