Date:16th November 2021 at 2:00pm
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Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi’s long awaited return to the Nou Camp was confirmed last week, as the Spaniard agreed a deal to succeed Ronald Koeman, who had been dismissed days earlier from his role as manager of the club. 

The ex-Spain international enjoyed a glittering career in Catalunya, winning 27 trophies including four Champions League triumphs, before venturing into management with Qatari club Al-Sadd.

The 41-year-old’s success continued in his first managerial role, as he guided the club to seven trophies in two-and-a-half years in charge, before leaving to return to his homeland.

Now, it appears that the former midfielder is wasting no time in plotting moves for the upcoming transfer window, and it appears that Premier League clubs may have reason to be anxious.

As per ESPN, Xavi has identified Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta as a potential transfer target, with the full-back set to be available on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer.

Xavi is apparently ‘especially keen’ on securing the player’s signature due to his versatility and ability to play in a number of positions across the backline.

Salah and Azpilicueta are both targets for new Barcelona boss Xavi

The 32-year-old, who will have spent a decade with the club by next summer, is one of a number of players who are due to be out of contract next June, with fellow defenders Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva also all set for expiry.

The Spaniard would be able to agree a pre-contract with any foreign club from January, however it is believed that his current employers are intent on keeping hold of their captain.

Meanwhile, it also appears that the Blues’ rivals Liverpool may also have reason to be wary.

According to Spanish outlet El Nacional, Barca will target Reds forward Mohamed Salah, with Xavi keen on singing the player ‘at all costs’.

The report suggests that Salah, who leads the Premier League scoring charts with ten so far this term and currently has 15 goals in his last 15 games in all competitions, is seen by Xavi as a potential heir to Lionel Messi’s throne.

The Argentine left the club in dramatic fashion over the summer amid ongoing financial issues, but Salah is now being touted as a replacement for the six-time Ballon d’or winner.

The Egyptian’s deal with his current employers has just 18 months remaining, but talks over an extension are yet to progress and the former Chelsea man could be set to leave the club in 2023.

 
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