Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has offered a fitness update on teenager striker Ansu Fati who has been out of action since January after suffering a serious hamstring injury.
Fati opted for conservative treatment rather than undergo surgery on the problem and is now closing in on a comeback. Xavi told a pre-match press conference that the 19-year-old could return to group training soon.
“Ansu is in the final stages of his recovery. Let’s hope that little by little he can start to get involved again with the group,” he said. “He’s going to be a transcendental footballer for Barca. For me, there’s no doubt about him. He’ll have important players by his side, that doesn’t mean he’ll have a lesser role. The more quality you have means everyone will be better.”
Fati has been plagued by injury problems over the last two seasons but remains a key part of the club’s future plans. The 19-year-old has only managed 10 appearances so far in 2021-22 but has still scored five times.
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Xavi Asked About Haaland Rumors
Xavi and Fati could be joined at Barcelona by Erling Haaland next season. The coach was asked about a recent report he had met with the striker and made it clear he has not found it difficult to attract players to Barca since taking over.
“It’s always a good time to come to Barça, for any footballer. There isn’t a footballer who has said no to Barça since I’ve been here,” he said. “The players that we want to sign, if we can talk with them, we inisist on our game, our philosophy, the training, the way we work, the way players like it because we dominate the match. At other clubs you might get 10 touches of the ball, here you get 40. The club itself I think is one of the best in the world. The city is amazing, the history of Barca, but what convinces me is the football. Coming to Barca is a golden opportunity and we’ll always try to do the best for a player.”
Haaland is one of several players being linked with a summer move to the Camp Nou to join Xavi’s side. The Catalans are also thought to be targeting moves for free agents including Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.
Araujo & Gavi Contract Latest
Xavi was also asked about the progress of contract renewals for center-back Ronald Araujo and 17-year-old midfielder Gavi. The two players are already key players for the Catalans and Xavi wants the deals wrapped up quickly.
“These are two very important players, the present and the future. They are working very hard and these are high priority contract renewals. The club is working on it, these things get drawn out for different reasons,” he explained. “I hope it works out for the club and the players. They both seem very happy here and for us they are very important. I hope it’s just a matter of time.”
Both players are contracted to Barcelona until 2023, but the Catalans are keen to secure their long-term futures and ward off interest from any potential admirers.