‘Nobody should leave’, says Barcelona boss Xavi in response to Raphinha and Depay rumours


With Barcelona top of LaLiga and with a Supercopa de Espana already in the bag, Xavi wants to keep his squad together.

Xavi has told his players he does not want anyone to leave Barcelona, amid rumours linking Raphinha and Memphis Depay with moves away from Camp Nou.

The Brazilian only joined from Leeds United at the end of last season but is said to be a target for Premier League leaders Arsenal after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea.

Inter and Atlético Madrid are said to be interested in Depay, who has started just four times this season.

In a press conference ahead of the Copa del Rey Round of 16 match in Cueta, Barca head coach Xavi was asked about Raphinha’s future.

“I try to be clear with the players and I don’t think anyone should leave,” he said. “I’m pleased with the team. I don’t want anyone to leave, it’s another thing if they ask to leave.”

He replied to Depay: “Deciding whether he wants to leave is not an easy situation for him. I don’t know from here whether he wants to leave or not. I will discuss it with him,” he added later. : “I’m very happy with the team. If nobody wants to leave, I’m delighted.”

One player who was constantly linked with a move away before the season was former Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong, but the Dutch midfielder has since become an integral part of Xavi’s side, playing in all but one of their 16 LaLiga games so far.

“He feels comfortable and we will give him a little more freedom,” the Blaugrana boss said of De Jong. “He’s a footballer I really like and he has the extraordinary potential to be one of the best midfielders in the world. He’s at an excellent level.”

Barca, fresh from beating Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana final, take on third-tier Cueta in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, having struggled past another third-tier rival Intercity in the previous round, eventually winning 4-3. after extension.

“It’s good for us to have experience with Intercity so we don’t disappoint,” said Xavi. “The most important thing is to get a draw.

“We are coming at the best moment of the season, but we cannot lose ourselves. We have to show our superiority and continue the success of the Super Cup.”

“We are in a good moment of performances and results. We played an excellent game [against Real Madrid]. We have three trophies left and we can compete. We seem to be turning around, but we have to be consistent.”