Tuesday, February 7, 2023

´Nobody should leave´, says Barcelona boss Xavi in response to Raphinha and Depay rumours

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Jan 2023

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Xavi has told his players he does not want anyone to leave Barcelona, amid rumours linking Raphinha and Memphis Depay with moves away from Camp Nou.

The Brazilian only arrived from Leeds United at the end of last season but is a rumoured target of Premier League leaders Arsenal after they missed out on Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea.

Depay – who has only made four appearances this season – is reportedly of interest to Inter and Atletico Madrid.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of their Copa del Rey round-of-16 game at Cueta, Barca head coach Xavi was asked about Raphinha’s future.

“I try to be clear with the players and, for me, nobody should leave,” he said. “I am delighted with the squad. I don’t want anyone to leave, it is another thing if they ask to leave.”

On Depay, he replied: “Deciding if he wants to leave, it’s not an easy situation for him. From here to whether he wants to leave or not, I don’t know. I’ll discuss it with him,” later adding: “I’m very happy with the squad. If nobody wants to leave, I’m delighted.”

One player who was persistently linked with a move away prior to the season was former Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong, but the Dutch midfielder has become an integral part of Xavi’s team since, playing in all but one of their 16 LaLiga games so far.

“He feels comfortable and we give him a little more freedom,” the Blaugrana boss said of De Jong. “He is a footballer that I really like and he has extraordinary conditions to be one of the best midfielders in the world. He is at an excellent level.”

Fresh off beating Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana final, Barca face third-tier side Cueta in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, having struggled to get past another third-tier opponent, Intercity, in the previous round, eventually winning 4-3 after extra time.

“It’s good for us to have the experience of Intercity so we don’t fail,” Xavi said. “The most important thing is to get through the tie.

“We arrive at the best moment of the season, but we can’t get lost. We have to show our superiority and continue the success of the Super Cup.

“We are in a good moment of performances and results. We had an excellent game [against Real Madrid]. We have three trophies left and we can compete. It seems that we are turning around, but we have to have consistency.”

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