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FC Barcelona News: 1 March 2013: Xavi Reportedly Ruled Out Of El Clasico

Barcelona have been reportedly dealt a blow as Marca suggest that influential midfielder Xavi will miss Saturday's match through injury. Elsewhere, Barcelona have been linked with Roma centre-half Marquinhos while Alexis Sanchez is apparently a summer target for Manchester City

Victor Fraile

A 'Clásico' without Xavi - (English version)

Xavi Hernández will not play on Saturday against Real Madrid. The player has a hamstring injury, and the priority now is for him to be fully recovered on Tuesday 12th March to face Milan in the second leg of the Champions League at Camp Nou. Xavi won't be in the line-up against Madrid and after that he'll have a whole week to recover as Barça has no match on either Tuesday or Wednesday. (Editor's Note: Not confirmed by the club nor the player at time of publish)

The current 16 point gap is three more than the 13 which separated the two when Barça visited the Bernabeu in the 90/91 season, therefore, whatever Saturday’s result, Barça will come away from the game with the biggest lead ever following a game at the Bernabeu.

Premier League champions Manchester City have joined Liverpool in the race to sign out-of-favour Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez. The Mirror reports the Chilean international is wanted at the Etihad as part of the summer revamp by manager Roberto Mancini.

Barcelona is appealing a FIFA directive not to select a French youngster to play in one of its youth teams. FIFA said on Wednesday it had been contacted by Spain's federation about ''the international transfer of the minor player Theo Chendri.'' FIFA declined further comment because ''the matter is still pending with our services.'' The club said the ban was based on a possible violation of Article 19 of the ''regulations for the statute and transfer of players.''

Arsenal have joined Barcelona in monitoring United Arab Emirates forward Omar Abdulrahman ahead of a potential summer swoop. Barca scouts were first alerted to the 21-year-old during the UAE’s participation in the London Olympics, according to Catalan paper Sport. The playmaker, who has been compared to David Silva, has also attracted interest from Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Hamburg and Malaga.

Manchester United have a battle on their hands if they want to land Roma duo Erik Lamela and Marquinhos in the summer. Italian football site Forza Italian Football claims Roma have already rejected a £21.5m bid from Barca for Marquinhos as well as a £30m bid for Lamela.

Kaka hopes to get a rare chance to impress for Real Madrid when Barcelona visit in La Liga on Saturday, with Jose Mourinho expected to rest players ahead of their Champions League showdown with Manchester United. "The coach hasn't said who will play yet. He will decide tomorrow. If I play, it could be a good opportunity for me," Kaka told a news conference on Friday.

Real Sociedad striker Carlos Vela has opened the door to a return to Arsenal after making his asking price public. "Today I am here and just thinking about Real," Vela said. "Arsenal could buy me by paying Real a million Euros more than Real paid. I'm going to give everything for the team, what is going to happen next, I do not know."

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