Have New York City F.C. come out on top in the Xavi Hernandez sweepstakes?
According to Spanish publication ‘Sport,’ the lifelong Barcelona product is set to make a move to the fledgling club on a three-year, multimillion dollar deal. That accord may come as soon as Monday, with an official signing on Thursday and an official announcement for the following Thursday.
Three MLS teams were reportedly in the running for his signature; NYCFC, the New York Red Bulls and the Seattle Sounders. The Red Bulls spent much of the past two years connected to the player, but a source told EOS earlier this year that there was “no truth” to their pursuit of the Barcelona star during the winter transfer window. A league source reiterated that stance last week, claiming the club hasn’t been in the running for Xavi all year long.
NYCFC, however, have been the lead suitor for some time now. His signature has been predicted almost on a weekly basis with various reports connected both parties.
The midfielder is still under contract with Barcelona, but would be allowed to leave on a free transfer thanks to his years of service with the club. Xavi, 34, is reportedly looking for a sizable severance package before his exit, while Barcelona would also seek a tribute match prior to his departure. Per Sports’ report, talks have been amicable.
The Barcelona great would be set to join former teammate David Villa, forming half of what could be the most formidable spine in all of Major League Soccer. The Terrassa native is the winningest player in Barcelona history, leading the club to seven titles, three UEFA Championships, two Copa Del Rey wins while also helping Spain to their first ever World Cup title.
If signed, Xavi would become the fourth NYCFC player on roster behind Villa, former Montreal Impact defender Jeb Brovsky and journeyman goalkeeper, Josh Saunders.