Barcelona Transfer News Roundup: Deco lends support to Xavi, Catalans planning Ronald Araujo renewal, and more - November 30, 2023
Barcelona will lock horns with Atletico Madrid at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Sunday (December 3) in the league. The Catalans arrive at the game on the back of a 2-1 win over Porto in midweek in the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Deco has backed Xavi to steer the club out of troubled waters. Elsewhere, the La Liga champions are planning to hand Ronald Araujo a new deal.
On that note, let's take a look at the major Barcelona transfer stories from November 30, 2023.
Deco lends support to Xavi
Barcelona sporting director Deco has reiterated the club's support for Xavi. The Spanish manager has run into troubled waters this season, with his team currently in fourth place in the La Liga table. The situation has sent the rumour mill spinning, with youth team manager Rafael Marquez also mentioned as a possible replacement for Xavi.
However, speaking to Moviestar after the Porto game, Deco insisted that the Catalans remain firmly behind the Spanish manager. He said:
"We don’t have to ratify anything, Xavi is our coach, he has a contract and he recently renewed it. And when a club renews its coach it is because it trusts him, there is no discussion. I understand that when we don’t play well and don’t win there is criticism, but that’s normal. This is football and we are used to it."
"It’s normal, we know that rumours are normal at Barça when they don’t play well. But we know what we want on a day-to-day basis, we know that we had to bring players back, when we thought we had everyone, Gavi got injured…. But this is football and the important thing is the day-to-day, how hard we work, how much we suffer in defeat and this is a team."
Barcelona won the league as well as the Spanish Supercup last season under Xavi's leadership
Barcelona planning Ronald Araujo renewal
Barcelona are planning to hand Ronald Araujo a new contract, according to acclaimed journalist Fabrizio Romano. The Uruguayan defender has become a mainstay in Xavi’s starting XI in recent times and is one of the club’s most important players right now. This season, the 24-year-old has appeared 12 times across competitions for the La Liga champions, registering four clean sheet.
He has operated at right-back as well as centerback, and the Catalans are pleased with his efforts. Araujo has also turned heads at clubs around the continent, with Bayern Munich interested in his services according to journalist Florian Plettenberg. Thomas Tuchel reportedly wants the player at the Allianz Arena, but Barcelona have no desire to let him go.
Deco lauds Portuguese duo
Deco recently spoke highly of Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix. The Portuguese duo joined Barcelona on loan this summer and have done well so far. Cancelo arrived from Manchester City and has been a huge hit at the Camp Nou. The 29-year-old has registered three goals and two assists from 16 games across competitions for the Catalans, sparking talks of a permanent stay.
The player's contract with City runs until 2027, but he is apparently not part of Pep Guardiola's plans. The La Liga champions could be tempted to pursue a permanent stay if Cancelo continues his upward trajectory. Speaking to Moviestar after the win over Porto in midweek, Deco insisted that Barcelona were always aware of the Portuguese's qualities. He said:
"When we brought in Cancelo we knew that he had the ability to play on both flanks, he is a versatile player who can help us in that sense. It seems that the coach with Araujo, Koundé, and Iñigo wanted more defensive security.”
“But in the end, the important thing is how we position ourselves on the pitch and the attitude we have. Today we played a good game from start to finish and it’s normal that we had difficulties, Porto are a great team.”
Felix, who joined on loan from Atletico Madrid, has also done well under Xavi and received praise from Deco. The 46-year-old said:
"We had no doubts, if anything you had doubts (laughs). We know Joao’s ability on a day-to-day basis, he has also had a lot of minutes with 11, 12 games in a row due to injuries. Many games he had a chance to score, he hit the post, other times he didn’t… but that’s how it is. I’m happy for him for his confidence."
Felix has registered four goals and three assists from 16 games across competitions for the Catalans this season.