Xavi’s new contract at FC Barcelona not his main priority with busy period coming


Barcelona head coach Xavi remains tight-lipped about a contract extension, which should be officially announced once he focuses on a squad that produces the desired results.

Xavi is determined that the renewal of his contract until 2025 will not distract from a crucial run of games that starts at home to Real Betis on Saturday, which also includes the start of the Champions League campaign against Antwerp.

“I talked to Dec about it, the president. It’s about achieving success, titles, not long contracts,” Xavi said at a press conference.

“I will never be a problem for the club. When we see that my continuity is not the right decision, I will step aside.

“I am very excited and the project remains very relevant. My contract extension will no doubt be announced in a few days.

“Performance is important to me. If there are no clear goals at the end of the season, there is no point in having a long contract.”

Barcelona will be monitoring midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who bruised his back during Germany’s game with France but has been able to train with his club.

Xavi expects a tough test from Betis, who won two of their opening four LaLiga games before the international break and are just three points behind Barca in the table.

“We have a tough opponent, a great team, technically one of the best with Isco, Ayoze (Perez), Borja Iglesias,” Xavi said.

Having the ball will be key, having it, long possession. We need to win these three games at home and we need the fans.”

Xavi also expects to make the most of his options with a plan ahead.

“We believe the team is fine. The numbers are limited, but we believe in the young talent we have here,” he added.

“Lamine (Yamal), Unai (Hernandez), (Pau) Cubarsi – there are good young players and we will use them. There will be rotations out of necessity. We have seven games in 20 days.

“We have the squad to deal with it but there are players who have played internationally and some will be rested.

Manuel Pellegrini, the Betis manager, knows what a challenge awaits his side when they face a “complete team” on Saturday night.

“Barcelona are having a great season in terms of results and they are a very efficient team who won LaLiga by a difference (of points) to them. They are now also unbeaten in this first leg of LaLiga,” said Pellegrini.

“They have very dynamic players with proven experience and young players – like Pedri, Gavi and now Lamine.

“It’s a complete team in every sense, with youth, experience and quality, so if we want to try to get points in Barcelona, ​​we have to play a complete game without mistakes.”

Abde Ezzalzouli could play against his old club having moved to Betis on transfer deadline day.

Pellegrini added: “Abde has just arrived but he is on the squad list and everyone who has been called up has a chance to play.

“He is a very important signing for us, he came at the last minute, we needed a winger with these qualities.”

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