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Spain La LigaLa Liga Transfer NewsBarcelona's financial issues behind Haaland move to City - Xavi

Barcelona’s financial issues behind Haaland move to City – Xavi

Xavi believes Barcelona’s financial issues will have been the overriding factor if Manchester City wins the race to sign Erling Haaland.

Widespread reports claim City will announce the signing of Haaland this week, with the defending Premier League champions ready to activate his €75million release clause.

Barca and Real Madrid are seriously interested in the Borussia Dortmund striker, who has scored 28 goals in 29 games this season.

But Barca is still operating under the financial constraints that led to Lionel Messi’s departure before the start of the campaign.

And it is those restrictions, according to Xavi, that is seemingly set to take Haaland to the Etihad Stadium rather than Camp Nou.

Xavi told a media conference ahead of Barca’s LaLiga clash with Celta Vigo on Tuesday:

“It’s not official. When it is, you ask me again.

“If I rule him out for us? I’m not going to lie to you. With our economic situation, it’s tough.”

If Haaland chooses money over a project, Xavi replied: “I wouldn’t say that. I’m not going to disrespect other clubs’ sporting projects.

“City have a lot of titles and compete at a top-level. So if what you say happens, it would’ve been because of our financial issues.”

While Xavi did not detail the club’s plans for the transfer window, he conceded the squad needs to be strengthened, with Barca 12 points behind newly-crowned champions Madrid.

“This year is not positive, and we have to reinforce ourselves,” said Xavi.

“All who come will be welcome. People have to leave. The situation is not easy. It is one of the most difficult in the history of the club. But we have to strengthen ourselves. There is evidence, and everyone has seen it.

“We have made a football diagnosis. Then there is the economy. We are very clear about what we want next year, and we will try to do everything.”

One player Xavi is keen to keep on the books is winger Ousmane Dembele, whose contract expires in June.

Dembele has recorded 11 assists in LaLiga this season, tied for the most in the division alongside Karim Benzema, and has been linked with top clubs.

“The club already knows my idea,” Xavi added to Dembele.

“I would like him to stay. He has helped us, and if he stays and renews, he will help us. He has already done so this season.”

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