Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has waved goodbye to a host of players this summer as he overhauls his squad at the Camp Nou but knows there could still be more exits.
Oscar Mingueza, Riqui Puig, and Samuel Umtiti have all left, after being told by Xavi earlier this summer they were not in his plans for the new campaign. Striker Martin Braithwaite was also given the same message but remains at the club.
Xavi was asked about Braithwaite’s future at a news conference on Saturday, August 27 to preview his team’s La Liga clash at Real Valladolid and made it clear once again the Denmark international is surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou.
“He has known since May 17 that we don’t have him,” he told reporters. “From here on, everything depends on the market. Football-wise, he knows my position. I was very clear.”
Braithwaite is contracted to Barcelona until 2024 but the Catalans could terminate his existing deal early, according to reporter Gerard Romero. Barca are “very close” to ending his contract and could pay €2.5 million to seal the deal. Braithwaite’s departure would free up another €3m on the wage bill.
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Xavi Offers Aubameyang & Memphis Update
Xavi also offered an update on the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay amid speculation the duo will also leave before the transfer window shuts at the end of August.
“I do not rule out any situation,” explained Xavi when asked about the duo. “Neither from Aubameyang nor from Memphis Depay. Lots of things can happen. I contemplate everything. Let’s see what situation we have and where we are in five days.”
Barcelona Hoping To Land New Right-Back
Barcelona also continue to be linked with defenders in the final days of the transfer window, and Xavi admitted he is hoping the club can bring in a new right-back.
“With Balde, we seem well covered at left-back. On the right, we don’t have a natural option beyond Dest, who knows what his situation is,” he said. “We will see how the market is but the club’s intention is to strengthen at right-back.”
Villarreal defender Juan Foyth has emerged as a target but the defender’s €42m release clause is set to increase to €54.6m, as reported by Marca. Such a price is likely to prove out of Barcelona’s financial reach.
Rennes captain Hamari Traore could be another, more affordable option for Barcelona in the final days of the window. L’Equipe have reported the Catalans have started negotiations for the 30-year-old who is valued at around €3 million.
Barcelona have until 5:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 1 to do business before the transfer window closes in La Liga until January, although clubs are allowed to sign players as free agents after the deadline has passed.