Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has explained why 17-year-old midfielder Gavi prefers to play with his laces untied after seeing his side beat Real Mallorca 2-1 in La Liga at the Camp Nou on Sunday, May 1.
Gavi played the whole 90 minutes once again as Barcelona returned to winning ways at the Camp Nou after consecutive home defeats to Eintracht Frankfurt, Cadiz, and Rayo Vallecano.
Xavi was asked about the midfielder at his post-match press conference and opened up on the youngster’s unusual preference to play with his boot laces undone, as reported by ESPN’s Samuel Marsden.
“He says that’s how he’s comfortable, that it’s good for him, that we don’t need to worry!” the Barcelona coach explained. “I hope he renews, let’s see if it’s sorted soon. Hopefully he’s the next after Araujo.”
Gavi has enjoyed an impressive breakout season at Barcelona and has also played his way into the Spain national team. The 17-year-old has featured 43 times for club and country this season and has emerged as one of Europe’s brightest talents.
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Alemany Offers Gavi Update
Barcelona are keen to tie Gavi down to a new contract at Barcelona and sporting director Mateu Alemany has offered supporters an update on talks with Gavi and French forward Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele’s current deal expires at the end of the season, while Gavi is out of contract in 2023. Alemany said the club will do all they can to keep hold of the duo but admitted financial factors are an issue, as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
“Ousmane Dembélé and Gavi want to continue here – that’s really important, we’ll do our best for both of them to stay at Barça,” he said. “We’ve limits for salary budget, as I always say – so we’ve to be careful. We’ll do our best.”
Gavi has received “important offers” from both Bayern Munich and Chelsea but is only interested in staying with the Catalan giants, according to reporter Matteo Moretto.
Barcelona have already secured the long-term futures of key youngsters Ansu Fati, Pedri, and Ronald Araujo. The Uruguayan put pen to paper on a new deal that runs until 2026 at the Camp Nou on Friday, April 29.
Xavi Praises Memphis Depay
Xavi also spoke about Memphis Depay after seeing the Dutchman score in a the 2-1 win over Real Mallorca. Memphis is out of contract in 2023 and has struggled for game time in 2022, but Xavi says he deserves to play more, as reported by Marca.
“He has played because he trains very well. Maybe someone else would have lowered his arms, but not him. He has played a great game. We want this type of player,” he said. “At times, I have still been unfair because he has not had as many minutes. He has had a week fantastic training session and, if he performs like this, he has to play.”
Barcelona will have a decision to make on Memphis at the end of the season. The Catalans will need to extend his contract if he is to stay to avoid losing the Dutchman on a free transfer when his contract expires.