Barcelona Transfer News Roundup: Xavi wants five players sold in the summer, La Liga head says Lionel Messi departure hasn't hurt the league financially and more - 18 February 2022

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez

Despite their financial woes, Barcelona have been active in recent transfer windows. This is expected to resume this summer as the Catalans continue to scour the market for potential signings.

Barcelona are currently fourth in the La Liga table and have a lot of work to do if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season. They settled for a 1-1 draw with Napoli in the first leg of their Europa League knockout playoffs.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 18 February 2022.

Xavi Hernandez defends Ousmane Dembele after Napoli game

FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League
FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele was booed as he was introduced as a substitute in the second half of the game against Napoli. However, Dembele looked keen to impress and created multiple chances for his side. This got a lot of supporters to stop jeering and applaud him instead.

Dembele is set to leave Barcelona in the summer as a free agent. After talks over a new contract reached an impasse, Xavi had asked Dembele to find a new club in January but the Frenchman failed to do so. The Camp Nou faithful are miffed by his actions. They started whistling and jeering as soon as he started his warm-up routine.

Xavi gestured to the fans not to boo their own player. Speaking to the press about the reaction that Dembele received, Barcelona manager Xavi said:

“The crowd didn’t listen to me. Dembele is going to turn the whistles into applause.”
Barcelona manager Xavi: “Ousmane Dembélé will turn whistles into applause here at Camp Nou, I’m sure”. 🔴 #FCB“We have to trust Ferrán Torres - it's a matter of giving him time and confidence”.

Javier Tebas says Lionel Messi departure hasn't impact La Liga financially

La Liga president Javier Tebas
La Liga president Javier Tebas

Lionel Messi left Barcelona to join PSG last summer. He was La Liga's biggest draw for a decade and a half. However, on being asked whether Messi's departure has adversely affected La Liga in a financial sense, Tebas responded that it hasn't.

He said (via ESPN):

"No. Zero. A one-off departure by a star or two, just as it happened with Cristiano [Ronaldo] doesn't affect [us]. If you look at it, Serie A did not grow with Cristiano.
"We signed [in May 2021] an eight-year [rights] agreement with ESPN. Do you think they know who will play in LaLiga in eight years' time? Neither they nor anyone knows that. But they know it's a financially sound league and that there will always be good players."

Xavi Hernandez wants five Barcelona players sold in the summer

Deportivo Alaves v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander
Deportivo Alaves v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander

Barcelona are likely to make some big moves in the upcoming summer transfer window. They strengthened their attack significantly in January. But in order to sign more players and further bolster their squad, they'll need to free up some funds.

According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Barcelona have prepared a list of five players who will be offloaded in the summer. The five players that Xavi wants axed from the side are Sergi Roberto, Martin Braithwaite, Samuel Umtiti, Sergino Dest and Clement Lenglet.

Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti have played very little football this season. Xavi does not have a very high opinion of Sergino Dest's defensive qualities. Sergi Roberto's current contract expires this summer and the club have reportedly decided against extending his deal.

The negotiations have broke down entirely. It's very likely that this will be Sergi Roberto's last season for Barcelona.— @sport

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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