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Xavi talks Pique fitness, Frenkie de Jong transfer rumors and Ansu Fati return

Here’s the latest from the Barcelona boss

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Xavi spoke to reporters on Saturday to preview Barcelona’s next La Liga match against Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou.

The Barcelona boss discussed Gerard Pique’s injury, Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United rumors, and had a message for supporters.

Here are the best bits:

Xavi on Rayo

Yes, tomorrow is another golden opportunity for us to consolidate second place. To play at home and win again after two losses at home. They are a complicated opponent, their last win against Espanyol was important for them to stay in La Liga. They are working hard under a good coach, they play a great style, they will try to press us. It will be difficult for us to escape this press, we saw a similar thing in the last game. We need to be more efficient when we have the ball, in particular with our chances. It will be a big step for us to win tomorrow to secure a Champions League spot.

Xavi on Pique

Pique has been suffering for two or three months, but he is committed, we will see tomorrow. Today he didn’t train with the group, we have to see how he will feel tomorrow, if he is 100% then he will play, because he is a very important player for us.

Xavi on Barca’s objectives

We need to get good results and secure second place. Being realistic, the league is pretty much impossible. I want to improve our play and the sensations. February and March were good but now we have dropped a little in terms of a few weeks ago.

Xavi on Ferran Torres being tired?

Each player has different levels of fatigue. We also look at how much effort they put into the game. Ferran is a player who can easily play another three or four games. We have to cover our main objective, which is to enter the Champions League. Ferran for me is a very important player, whether he scores or not, he generates so many chances, he works for the team, he works hard on the wing, he does so many things well.

Xavi on Barca’s plans for next season

We are working hard on the squad list for next season, it depends on the economic situation, right now we are waiting to see what we can do. We need more players to come in, for players to come some will have to leave. We try to focus on the day-to-day right now. Try to secure Champions League football for next season. We’ll see.

Xavi on Laporta saying title is still possible

I’m very positive but I think the president is more optimistic than me! It’s not lost yet but let’s be realistic, it’s very difficult. It’s true looking at the numbers we’re in a good fight since November in the league. We have to be realistic and continue like this, be patient and try to fight next year. We are Barca that’s what we do, we win. This year we don’t, didn’t have enough to compete, we’ll never know. It’s a hypothesis what Dani Alves said. Madrid has been excellent, competed very well, had games where it looked like they would drop points but they didn’t.

Xavi on Barcelona’s evolution

You have to understand we are in the post-Messi era, we must have a lot of patience. I was the first to aspire to win titles, but we have to strengthen ourselves for next year. We have to be realistic, calm and patient. Without Messi everything is more difficult. The attitude of the team is commendable, yes.

Xavi’s message to Barca fans

The message is very clear, we need them. We saw that when we don’t have them, we suffer, we lost at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, against Cadiz the animation group weren’t there. I ask the fans to come, support the team, we need them. The fans are a part of the team it’s clear.

Xavi on Ansu Fati

If everything goes fine he will continue to train with the team. I imagine he will be back in the game against Real Mallorca. He’s doing everything well, he’s training normally and he’ll be able to play these final few games.

Xavi on Aubameyang, Barca scoring headers.

It’s not a surprise because we train these things, we try to attack spaces. In the case of Auba, he works hard, attacks the spaces, he’s a great signing. Super signing I would even say. He’s helping the team a lot, works hard, makes sacrifices for the team. I’m very happy for him and for the team.

Xavi on Frenkie to Man Utd rumors

We haven’t spoken about this. He’s an important player for the club, a player who needs to mark an era. He’s at a great level right now since I arrived and he needs to continue like this, keep scoring, keep assisting. He’s a very important player for me and could be one of the best midfielders in the world. If it was up to me he’d be here for many years.

Xavi on which position needs strengthening most

Te idea is have at least two players in each position to compete with each other. We are Barca and we need that, it’s important.