Barcelona Coach Xavi Reportedly Agrees To Sign Ruben Neves
According to Gerard Romero, a reliable source for FC Barcelona’s transfer news, coach Xavi Hernandez has given his approval for the club to sign Ruben Neves, the midfielder from Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, Xavi has set one condition for the signing.
During a recent Twitch session on Tuesday morning, Romero revealed that Xavi had a change of heart and is now open to the idea of bringing Neves to Barcelona.
Neves is represented by super agent Jorge Mendes, who has a close association with Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, and has significant influence at Camp Nou due to his involvement in the careers of several Barcelona players, including Ansu Fati, Alejandro Balde, and Nico Gonzalez.
According to The Athletic, Laporta and key figures at Barcelona have been interested in Neves for a while and attempted to sign him a year ago.
However, Xavi remains unconvinced and sees Martin Zubimendi, who impressed in Barcelona’s recent 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad, as a more suitable replacement for the outgoing captain Sergio Busquets, who will depart at the end of the season.
Romero also reported that Barcelona has initiated discussions with Real Sociedad regarding Zubimendi following their defeat, where the young midfielder provided the assist for the winning goal.
Real Sociedad is also reportedly interested in Barcelona players such as Ez Abde, Pablo Torre, and Nico Gonzalez, and their involvement could potentially lower Zubimendi’s reported release clause of €60 million ($66 million).
The Athletic suggests that Mendes might be able to negotiate with Wolves to accept a fee of €45 million ($49 million) for Neves, and Barcelona could facilitate this by selling Fati for around €75 million ($79 million). This would make it possible for Barcelona to secure deals for both Neves and Zubimendi.
If the signings go through, Neves would partner Frenkie de Jong in Busquets’ former role, while occupying a more advanced position similar to Franck Kessie’s role this season.
Romero’s report aligns with this, stating that Xavi is now content to incorporate Neves into his first-team squad, but only if Kessie is sold during the upcoming transfer window.