Barcelona transfer news: Xavi confirms Verratti interest, Coutinho reveals transfer reason and more - 9th February 2018
Barcelona legend reveals club's attempts to sign Marco Verratti
Xavi remains one of the greatest Barcelona players of all time and he has spent 17 years at Camp Nou before joining Qatari side, Al-Sadd SC. The talented midfielder remains close to the club and has now spoken about transfer discussions between the Blaugrana and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), apart from the ones involving Neymar. The latter joined the Ligue 1 side for a whopping €222 million, becoming the most expensive player ever.
Meanwhile, the Catalan outfit tried to sign a player for themselves from PSG, as per Xavi. The 38-year old told RMC Sport on how Verratti is similar to him and wants to see him at Barcelona in the near future. The Barcelona legend said:
"I would say that in today's football, the one that resembles me the most is Verratti. Technically, he has everything, he does not lose the ball, he is able to make the last pass, he is very important for PSG and I would like to see him in Barcelona. They tried to recruit him but PSG did well to keep him."
It is definitely a high-praise for Verratti coming from one of the greatest midfielders of all time and it remains to be seen whether Barcelona revisit France in the summer to capture the 25-year old.
Philippe Coutinho opens up about reason behind move
The Brazilian joined the Blaugrana in a stunning £142 million move from Liverpool during this January transfer window and opened his goalscoring account in the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia on Thursday. Although Ernesto Valverde eventually got his player, it took quite a few months as the Reds held firm in the summer transfer window.
"It wasn't possible in the summer, but we worked so that it could be done in winter. I really want to win big titles, it was one of the reasons that made me sign for the club. I want to win as many as I can, I don't have preferences."
As much as Liverpool fans will not want to hear that from the 25-year old, it is encouraging for Barcelona that a player with great desire to win has arrived at the club. While Coutinho is ineligible to play in the Champions League due to his involvement with Jurgen Klopp's side in the same competition, he is on course to win a couple of titles this season in the La Liga and Copa del Rey, vindicating his decision already.
Angel Di Maria almost joined Barcelona in the summer
The departure of Neymar to PSG in the summer led Barcelona to quickly try and replace him in the best way possible. Ousmane Dembele joined from Borussia Dortmund while Coutinho joined last month. However, there was another wide player in the form of Angel Di Maria, who came close to irking his former club Real Madrid by joining the Blaugrana as well.
The Argentine spoke on TyC Sports and said:
"I came close to joining Barcelona but that didn't end up happening - for football reasons. I've started 2018 well and I'm very happy. It was always my dream to play in Europe - now it's to return one day to Rosario Central".
Di Maria could have easily provided much-needed quality from wide areas considering Dembele's injuries and also shares a connection with Messi due to their time with the national team. Naturally, the 29-year old was full of praise for his countryman and said:
"There are no words to describe Leo. He will always surprise you. One year on and Messi is the best, another year goes by and he's still the best; he's a player from another planet - an extra-terrestrial".
While a summer move looks unlikely at the moment, one can never say never in football.