Xavi Hernandez believes young Barcelona midfielder Gavi would be happiest staying at the club, amid speculation he could leave in the summer, the Catalan coach said Saturday.
Gavi signed a contract renewal with Barcelona until 2026 in September but because of the club’s financial difficulties, it has not been able to register it with La Liga.
That means Gavi remains on his previous deal, which is set to expire in June, allowing him to sign for free for any other side.
Chelsea and Bayern Munich have been linked to Gavi in recent weeks, but Xavi said the 18-year-old should stay at Barcelona.
“I don’t know what other people are thinking, but I think that Gavi would not be as happy at any other team than he is at Barca,” Xavi told a news conference.
“He has everything here, we value him, he’s a starter at 18, he’s decisive for the team.
“He’s a very important player and he’s a player that excites me. He’s a marvellous footballer, and I think his future lies at Barca -- he would not be as happy elsewhere.”
Gavi has established himself as an important figure both for Barcelona and the Spanish national team over the past two years, after coming through his club’s La Masia youth academy.
Barcelona is 13 points clear at the top of La Liga and visits Getafe on Sunday, aiming to take a step closer to its first title since 2019.
The team will travel by high-speed train to Madrid for the match instead of flying, which Xavi said was an effort to reduce pollution.
“We hadn’t done it before because it’s a bit longer,” added the coach. “It’s about pollution and we think it’s the ideal time to do it because the game is at four in the afternoon. It won’t affect us, it’s something we’re open to.”
Earlier this season French side Paris Saint-Germain faced a backlash after coach Christophe Galtier and striker Kylian Mbappe mocked a suggestion that they should take the train to nearby games instead of flying.
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