Teamwork makes the dream work

Xavi eyed Lewandowski, Félix exits at Barcelona – sources

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Xavi Hernández needed to maneuver on Robert Lewandowski, João Félix, João Cancelo and Vitor Roque if he stayed on as Barcelona coach, sources have informed ESPN.

Xavi was sacked by Barça final week and took cost of his remaining recreation on Sunday, a 2-1 win over Sevilla because the Catalan aspect ended the season second in LaLiga and trophy-less.

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Nonetheless, sources have informed ESPN that, previous to his dismissal, he had radical plans to overtake the squad this summer time, particularly in assault.

The coach needed to freshen issues up by eliminating prime purpose scorer Lewandowski, loanees Félix and Cancelo and January signing Roque.

Lewandowski, 35, nonetheless has two years to run on a four-year contract, though the ultimate yr depends on him taking part in a sure variety of video games subsequent season.

The Poland striker, who has scored 59 objectives in 95 appearances since signing from Bayern Munich in 2022, spoke final week of his want to stay on the Catalan membership.

He shares illustration with German coach Hansi Flick, who sources have informed ESPN might be Xavi’s successor, within the type of Pini Zahavi, who’s one in every of a number of brokers who’ve a major affect at Barça.

Flick additionally labored with Lewandowski when he was Bayern coach, with the Bundesliga membership successful the treble in 2019-20.

Jorge Mendes is one other agent with sway at Barça and his purchasers, Félix and Cancelo, have each spent this season on mortgage on the LaLiga aspect.

Félix is now on account of return to Atlético Madrid and Cancelo to Manchester Metropolis. Each may return to Barça this summer time, though sources have informed ESPN that Xavi was not eager on re-signing both.

After making a robust begin to his mortgage spell, Félix ended the season out of the staff. He scored 10 objectives in his 44 appearances.

Cancelo was an ever-present beneath Xavi when out there, however sources informed ESPN the coach was additionally completely satisfied for the Portugal worldwide to return to Metropolis.

Mendes’ energy at Barça alo extends to a number of different gamers on the membership, together with Lamine Yamal, Alejandro Balde and Ansu Fati.

Brazil striker Roque, in the meantime, joined Barça for an preliminary €31 million ($33.7m) from Athletico Paranaense however has struggled for recreation time beneath Xavi, scoring twice in 16 appearances.

Xavi not too long ago mentioned that the intention had not been for Roque, who remains to be simply 18, to reach mid-season however for him to proceed his improvement in his homeland earlier than signing this summer time.

Roque’s agent, Andre Cury, has mentioned that his consumer has no intention of leaving Barça on mortgage subsequent season and that, if he does have to go away, it could be on a everlasting switch.