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Is Barcelona’s Xavi ready to join New York City FC and Major League Soccer?

Jan 14, 2014, 9:06 AM EDT

Spain's midfielder Xavi Hernandez gives Getty Images

Reports on Tuesday are linking FC Barcelona and Spanish national team legend Xavi with a switch to New York City FC for the start of the 2015 Major League Soccer season.

According to the details dished out in publications across Europe, Manchester City (who own the vast majority of NYC FC along with the New York Yankees) are desperate to bring Xavi to the Big Apple and make him the new franchises leading light when they begin play in 2015.

Xavi, 33, has spent his entire career at hometown team Barcelona and has won just about every trophy known to mankind in his glittering career as a tiki-taka general in the heart of Barca and Spain’s midfield. When 2015 rolls around Xavi will be 35 and will have just one year left on his current contract with the Catalan giants and City’s hierarchy believe it will send out a message of intent from the very beginning, that their franchise in MLS will play an attractive style of soccer similar to that of Barcelona.

(MORE: Learning more about New York City FC, about DPs and training grounds)

So why not pick up Barca’s creative hub and drop him in Manhattan? Xavi is said to earn $11 million a year in salary and would likely arrive on a free transfer, so from a financial standpoint it doesn’t seem like a problem. City’s owner Sheikh Mansour has already shown he’s willing to splash the cash and the same is likely to apply to the three Designated Players Jason Kreis will have at his disposal when he leads New York City FC into the first steps as an MLS franchise.

source: Getty Images

After winning almost every honor in world soccer, does one more challenge in MLS await Xavi?

Speaking of Kreis, he’s surely an admirer of Xavi as the intricate passing style that the Spaniard has helped become a worldwide phenomenon is exactly the way he instructed his former Real Salt Lake team to play. Quick passing, mesmeric movement, making triangles and third-man runs, that’s right out of Kreis’ coaching manual. That said, Xavi may not be running around much at the age of 35 but he’ll surely have a few good seasons left in him and recently the Spanish midfielder sparked intrigue when asked if he will end his career at Barcelona.

“Being tied to Barcelona is a privilege,” Xavi said, “but I don’t know what will happen in the future.”

Let’s see if this is just another transfer rumor, or has more substance than most whispers of European legends joining MLS do.

I’m certainly hoping it’s the latter.

  1. overtherepermanently - Jan 14, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    I’ve seen other rumors that Henry is trying to convince him to join Red Bull.

    • danielofthedale - Jan 14, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      Is this the first of many times NYCFC will punk the Red Bulls?

      • overtherepermanently - Jan 14, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        quite possibly

  2. mdac1012 - Jan 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    The rumour mill will be working overtime as 2015 gets closer. There was a report out last week that Henry was trying to convince Xavi to join the Red Bulls but I guess that has since been shot down. There are going to be a lot of big names thrown around between now and when NYCFC finally gets going, the one thing for sure is whoever NYCFC bring in they are going to want to make a major splash. I don’t know how the rest of the roster is going to look but I think you are going to see 3 DP big names, for very big money.

  3. babatundew - Jan 14, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Xavi should wait to see when the Miami team is set-up. It would be a masterstroke for Beckham because Xavi would have the latinos and other Miamians salivating. He would also adjust to life in Miami better as it has a warmer climate and he can still speak Spanish and learn English at his own pace.

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