Former Barcelona captain warned Xavi against re-signing Brazilian midfielder

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Barcelona head coach Xavi
Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

FC Barcelona significantly strengthened two particular areas of the team during the last summer transfer window, i.e., the right-back position and the midfield.

For the midfield, Oriol Romeu and Ilkay Gundogan were incorporated, while the right-back position was taken up by Joao Cancelo.

The right-back position had long been an area of weakness for the club, as the Catalans had not been able to get a long-term and competent replacement for Dani Alves ever since his departure.

For the midfield, Xavi wanted a midfielder with a good passing ability and who could provide the strikers with the last killer pass.

Busquets recommended against former teammate’s recruitment

According to SPORT, there were two players for these two positions that Xavi had picked during last year’s winter transfer window but dropped after taking in the opinion of the dressing room.

For the midfield, Xavi had identified Arthur Melo, the former Barcelona midfielder who was playing at Liverpool at that time but has moved to Fiorentina since.

Xavi asked the dressing room about him and Sergio Busquets advised against his signing because he had led an indisciplined lifestyle when he was at Barcelona, and thus would not be a good influence on the younglings.

Arthur got injured a few weeks later after this event, but Xavi had already dropped his interest in the Brazilian by that time.

Pavard not good for the dressing room

For the right-back position, Xavi was considering the French defender Benjamin Pavard. The Barcelona head coach asked the French players in the dressing room about him, and Ousmane Dembele recommended not to incorporate him.

The winger believed Pavard was a divisive player, who creates divisions in the dressing room. Since then, Pavard has also moved from Bayern Munich to Inter Milan, while Barcelona have got Joao Cancelo to fill their right-back position.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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