Xavi held his first pre-match press conference of 2022 on Saturday as the Barcelona boss spoke to reporters ahead of the trip to Real Mallorca.
The coach answered a lot of questions about Ousmane Dembele’s future, made it clear he thinks tomorrow’s game should have been called off and spoke about his delight at signing Ferran Torres.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on Real Mallorca clash
Right now it’s true we are in a dire situation. We have 17, 18 missing players. If we had common sense this game would not be played. Mallorca has also complained. Sevilla complained earlier this season that internationals would not be back int ime and the game was suspended. Common sense says we should be suspending the game, that’s my opinion. The rules are what they are. It’s harsh but it looks like we will have to compete with the players we have.
Xavi on Dembele future
I’m not disappointed, it’s a negotiation. It’s true that often a player’s agents make things very complicated. Barca has been very clear about its position. It’s now a question of negotiating. We know his position. We need to come toegther and row in the same direction. I think the offer for the player is fantastic. We’ll see in the next few days. I have spoken with him again and I hope that the positions will come closer. Ousmane is a football player who can make the difference. If he trains and plays well he can be one of the best in his position. Barca is the best place in the world for him and I think he needs to take advantage of that.
Xavi on Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres is a spectacular signing, as a player and a person. He’s going to give us a lot. He’s had great coaches like Pep and Luis. He can play in different positions. I’m very happy with the effort made by the club to get him. We have to see the salary cap position, there will have to be exits. If we can get Dembélé to renew, we can register Ferran and another signing. We have to wait
Xavi on Morata rumors
Let’s talk about those players we do have, we can talk about Ferran Torres and Alves, players who are going to help us a lot and make us more competitive. The rest are just hypotheses: Morata or Haaland are not Barça footballers.
Xavi on Ansu, Pedri and Memphis
They are recuperating well. They are training with the rest of the group, They are not 100% match fit yet but they are close. We don’t plan on counting on them tomorrow.
Xavi on Barca’s self esteem improving
Yes I think so. We look at the last two games, against Sevilla, the team played well. We dominated and we managed to suppress them. We didn’t win because of small details. I think in general yes, the group is going where I want it to go. We have good sensations, but we need some patience. I believe this team is certainly taking a step forward.
Xavi on January exits
The exits are being worked on. The market starts today and there is a month left. Many things have to be valued but for players to come, others have to leave, that is very clear.
Xavi on what he’s said to Dembele
Just a natural conversation. He’s an important player for us and I told him we need him. He’s generating a lot in attack and he knows that. We’re building a very interesting squad for a player with his qualities and we talked about him from a sporting perspective.
Xavi on if tomorrow is a good chance for Riqui Puig
Yes tomorrow the ones who will start will have a chance to prove themselves. That’s the case for everyone including Riqui. There are minutes for them to demonstrate they have the level to be here. So yes it’s a great chance.
Xavi on why he’s optimistic about Dembele
Just the sporting project. I don’t think he will be happier anywhere else than here. The club, the city. I believe this is the best club in the world, the best team and I’m trying to make him understand that.
Xavi on Ferran Torres’ best position
I think his best virtue is his personality. He’s very ambitious, excited, dedicated, you can see it in his eyes. He can play in attack, he has great one against one, can score goals. We are talking about a very complete player who will help us without a shadow of a doubt.
Xavi on Luuk de jong and demir
They are part of the squad. They have contracts. They have the chance to make an impact in the games they will play. We are also working on certain exits and arrivals and trying to adjust the salary cap but they are part of the team right now.