Xavi rejects claims he was not in favour of Joao Felix arrival
Barcelona head coach Xavi has firmly denied suggestions that he was not in favour of the club signing Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid during the summer transfer window.
The Catalan outfit completed the loan signing of the Portugal international on transfer deadline day, and he is now set to spend the 2023-24 campaign at Camp Nou.
There have been reports that Barcelona president Joan Laporta was the driving force behind the deal, with Xavi unsure whether the 23-year-old would fit into his side.
However, the club’s head coach has lavished praise on the Portuguese, branding him an “extraordinary talent” who is capable of ‘giving the team a lot’ this season.
“He fits us 100%. He is a player we have always liked. He has natural talent, he can play as a ‘9’ and on the left, he can also adapt to the right. He and [Joao] Cancelo can help us a lot this season,” Xavi told reporters.
“I have no information about what is happening at Atletico and it is not in my interest to give my opinion.
“Here we will give him all our love so that he performs to the best of his ability. He is an extraordinary talent and we are excited. We believe he can give us a lot.”
Meanwhile, when asked about Felix’s best position, the head coach said: “As a ‘9’, as a ‘7’, as an ’11’. He is a very versatile player and has wonderful qualities to succeed at Barca.”
Barcelona also signed Cancelo on loan from Manchester City on transfer deadline day, while Oriol Romeu, Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez arrived earlier in the window.
There were also three departures on deadline day, with Abde Ezzalzouli joining Real Betis on a permanent deal, while Ansu Fati and Eric Garcia moved on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion and Girona respectively.
We will see if we have a better team than last year, the grades at the end of the season,” said Xavi when asked about the club’s summer business.
“I am very happy. The club has done a very good job, the team has strengthened well. The players who have left have asked to leave. We have moved quickly to strengthen.
“I always give it a 10 (the window). The work has been excellent. There were some tense moments, but we played with fair play. Ansu, Abde, and Eric wanted to leave. It’s their decision. We adapted to what we could. It has been a good market for us. Now we have to prove it.”
Barcelona will be bidding to made it three straight wins in La Liga when they travel to Osasuna on Sunday night.