Barcelona do not want to sell 20-year-old midfielder Nico Gonzalez in the summer transfer window, according to the youngster’s agent Jorge Mendes.
Nico burst into the first-team last season and was officially promoted to the senior squad in January, taking over Philippe Coutinho’s No. 14 shirt. However, the youngster struggled for significant minutes in the second half of the 2021-22 campaign.
There has been speculation that Nico could be offloaded before the start of the new campaign but Mendes offered an update on his future after meeting with Barcelona chiefs, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“They don’t want to sell Nico González although there are offers for him, he is going to stay, but we have talked about several players and everything has gone well,” said Mendes to reporters.
Nico made 34 appearances in all competitions last season but only 16 of those were as a starter. It’s not clear what his role will be in 2022-23 with Franck Kessie expected to arrive from AC Milan and youngster Pablo Torre also arriving from Racing.
Xavi also still has Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Gavi in his squad but doubts remain over Frenkie de Jong’s future. The Dutchman has said repeatedly he wants to stay but Xavi has admitted Barca’s financial situation may dictate the midfielder’s future.
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Nico Wants Long Barcelona Stay
Nico has spoken about his future and has said he’s willing to be patient and wait for his chances at the Camp Nou. The midfielder also told La Vanguardia that he hopes to spend his entire career at Barcelona.
“It is true that now I am playing less, but the first thing is the team, and I also think that the competition is positive, it makes you raise your level,” he said. “I have been in the first team for a few months and I have to be patient, work and take advantage of the minutes I have.”
There has been interest in Nico this summer from clubs across Europe, according to Diario Sport. La Liga sides Valencia, Real Betis and Real Sociedad and Premier League outfit Wolves are all admirers of the youngster.
Xavi Counting on Nico?
Barcelona coach Xavi was also asked about Nico’s future before the end of the season. The manager was asked at a press conference before his team’s match against Getafe if there was a chance Nico could go out on loan and offered the following response.
“For me he is an important player. He has helped us a lot, he has scored, played most minutes,” he said. “He has made a difference. He needs to improve but I am very happy with him. He gives us many alternatives in midfield. We count on him for the present and future.”
Barcelona’s desire to keep Nico shows how highly he is rated at the club but the competition for places in midfield means he may face a real battle for minutes in 2022-23 under Xavi.