Xavi responds to Erling Haaland transfer rumours and confirms humbling Barcelona target


Xavi admits Barcelona are tracking Erling Haaland despite their financial issues whilst he is eyeing a place in the top four after taking over a struggling Catalan outfit

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Xavi is simply looking to deliver a top four finish in his first year at Barcelona.

The Spaniard, a former hero at the Nou Camp, arrived midseason to replace Ronald Koeman at the helm but has been handed a difficult task.

Xavi took charge of a Barcelona side languishing in ninth as they feel the affects of Lionel Messi’s departure.

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A squad very much in a transitional phase is miles off the pace with Real Madrid 18 points ahead.

Fourth place Atletico Madrid are five points better off than Barcelona, but with plenty of time to haul that back.

The Catalans, who have been the dominant force over the past decade, are a shadow of their former selves.

And that is underlined by Xavi’s admission that his side are simply looking to ensure they are in the Champions League next season.

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Xavi is eyeing the top four in his first season at the helm, having taken over recently

“The main objective is to be in the top four and to win titles,” Xavi said in a pre-match press conference.

“Nothing can be ruled out, we are a long way behind the leader but I have great confidence in the squad.

“The results aren’t coming but I am confident, the feelings are better and positive, even if the results aren’t, tomorrow is another huge test.”

Xavi has, so far, won two of his four LaLiga games, but was unable to keep Barcelona in the Champions League.

Instead they will play in Europe’s second tier competition – as will Erling Haaland with Borussia Dortmund.

The German side could see the Norwegian leave this summer, with his release clause set to come into play.

Barcelona are among those linked with Haaland, who is arguably the most sought after player on the planet.

The Catalans though are struggling financially, with their economic situation behind Messi’s departure.

Xavi concedes all clubs are keen on the Dortmund star, but urged people to remain realistic.

“At the moment we have a difficult economic situation,” he added.

Erling Haaland has admirers from around Europe

“We have to be realistic and think that it will not be easy to strengthen the team, there is a problem with the salary limits. We will see what happens, I don’t know anything about Haaland, everyone would be interested.”

Spanish champions Madrid are among those keen on the Norwegian as are both Manchester clubs.

Mino Raiola will play a key role in where Haaland goes next and admitted recently that they have been planning for some time.

“We have been thinking and doing for two years,” the agent told Sport1 in Germany.

“We have clear ideas about where Erling should go and of course we look at what the market has to offer. I would be a bad advisor if I didn’t.”

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