Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Xavi Hernandez’s future looks to be exceedingly away from FC Barcelona, but the method of his departure and eventual landing spot are still up in the air.
According to reports in Spain, Xavi is considering an offer from Major League Soccer, with three clubs bidding to sign the legendary Spanish midfielder; New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, and Seattle Sounders FC. The Sounders are new to the Xavi rumor mill, which has been churning for the last 12 months or more about a potential move to New York.
For what its worth, the Sounders have all three Designated Player spots filled, making them an unlikely destination for Xavi this season.
Prior to the World Cup, Xavi was all but set to join a club in Qatar, and would earn a reported €8 million per year, tax free. However, since the World Cup performance of Spain, the offers from Qatar have been withdrawn, and MLS isn’t willing to compete with that salary.
As such, Xavi and his representatives are negotiating a buy-out with Barcelona right now for the club to pay him a significant amount of his €24 million in salary left on his contract, which still has two years remaining.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique confirmed that he had spoken with Xavi but did not make clear whether a decision had been made.
“I had a conversation with Xavi, and we talked about it,” Enrique told reporters. “It is topic that is open, it is a player who has a contract in effect. We are at the expense of his decision. He’s a Barca player that I like and the topic is still open for both parties.”
On Tuesday, Barcelona-based newspaper Sport reported that Xavi was on vacation in Ibiza but was close to finalizing a contract with NYC FC. If he signed with NYC FC, Xavi would join former teammate David Villa for next season. If he signed with the Red Bulls, he’d be reunited with another former teammate Thierry Henry.
What do you think of this report? Do you see Xavi moving to MLS? Think he’d be able to succeed in the conditions?
Share your thoughts below.