Xavi asks Barcelona to make 'extra efforts' to sign 2022 FIFA World Cup winner this summer: Reports

Elche CF v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander
Elche CF v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander

Xavi has reportedly asked the Barcelona management to ramp up their efforts to sign 2022 FIFA World Cup-winning defender Juan Foyth.

As per Spanish outlet SPORT, Barcelona are eager to sign a right-back in the summer transfer window, with Xavi setting his sights on Foyth. Xavi has reportedly urged the management to go all out for Foyth, as he believes that the Argentine would prove to be a great upgrade in the right-back position.

Barcelona have not had a steady right-back since 2020. They signed Sergino Dest in the summer of 2020 but the USMNT defender failed to make any tangible impact. Hector Bellerin was brought in last summer only to be shipped out in January itself following a string of unconvincing displays. In the absence of a natural right-back, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo have filled that position.

While the center-backs have done well in the right-back position, the management wants them to return to their original position and bring in a natural right-back. Foyth, who appeared in one match for Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has emerged as the club’s first choice.

The management is aware of Xavi’s desire to sign Foyth, but Barca have found it difficult to negotiate with Villarreal. It is believed that Villarreal do not want to let the player leave for anything less than his release clause of €54 million.

They might have to reconsider their position and sell a few players if they do not secure Champions League football for next season. But for now, the fifth-placed La Liga side are unwilling to compromise. If the Camp Nou outfit fail to land Foyth this summer, they could turn to Benjamin Pavard, Thomas Meunier or Joao Cancelo.

Foyth has played 93 games for Villarreal since joining them in the 2020-21 season, scoring thrice and claiming five assists across competitions. His contract runs until June 2026.

Fabrizio Romano provides update on Lionel Messi’s potential return to Barcelona

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi is expected to leave the French capital this season. The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner sees his PSG contract expire in June 2023 and is yet to sign an extension.

Barcelona have expressed their desire to re-sign their record goalscorer, with coach Xavi revealing that he frequently talks to his former teammate.

According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Barca and Messi are both interested in a reunion but no official headway has been made due to Financial Fair Play regulations. Speaking to Caught Offside, the Italian journalist revealed:

“No news on Lionel Messi at this stage. We know he speaks to Xavi frequently, Xavi wants him back, Leo loves Barça… nothing new.
“The crucial step is when Barcelona will be able to make an official bid to Lionel as Financial Fair Play makes things slow now. PSG made their bid to Leo in February, nothing has changed about that.”

In addition to Barca, Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal have also expressed their desire to sign Messi. They are reportedly prepared to give him €400 million per year to join Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia.

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Edited by Sushan Chakraborty