Report: Xavi mulling offers from 3 MLS clubs

Xavi of Barcelona

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Xavi Hernandez’s future looks to be exceedingly away from FC Barcelona, but the method of his departure and eventual landing spot are still up in the air.

According to reports in Spain, Xavi is considering an offer from Major League Soccer, with three clubs bidding to sign the legendary Spanish midfielder; New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, and Seattle Sounders FC. The Sounders are new to the Xavi rumor mill, which has been churning for the last 12 months or more about a potential move to New York.

For what its worth, the Sounders have all three Designated Player spots filled, making them an unlikely destination for Xavi this season.

Prior to the World Cup, Xavi was all but set to join a club in Qatar, and would earn a reported €8 million per year, tax free. However, since the World Cup performance of Spain, the offers from Qatar have been withdrawn, and MLS isn’t willing to compete with that salary.

As such, Xavi and his representatives are negotiating a buy-out with Barcelona right now for the club to pay him a significant amount of his €24 million in salary left on his contract, which still has two years remaining.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique confirmed that he had spoken with Xavi but did not make clear whether a decision had been made.

“I had a conversation with Xavi, and we talked about it,” Enrique told reporters. “It is topic that is open, it is a player who has a contract in effect. We are at the expense of his decision. He’s a Barca player that I like and the topic is still open for both parties.”

On Tuesday, Barcelona-based newspaper Sport reported that Xavi was on vacation in Ibiza but was close to finalizing a contract with NYC FC. If he signed with NYC FC, Xavi would join former teammate David Villa for next season. If he signed with the Red Bulls, he’d be reunited with another former teammate Thierry Henry.

———

What do you think of this report? Do you see Xavi moving to MLS? Think he’d be able to succeed in the conditions?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Transfer News. Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to Report: Xavi mulling offers from 3 MLS clubs

  1. Cmillzy says:

    Maybe using some of that money they will be gettin from yedlin to make a marquee signing. I mean it would be a good way to give people a short memory about him leaving.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      After Spain’s showing this summer I think the potential player signings from that team should be viewed in a different light. Since we’re a serious league and Qatar is a paycheck league, there’s no reason for us to take the same players they won’t throw money at, more seriously than a “how much do I make the check out for” league.

      • Tyler says:

        So, if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re of the opinion that MLS and the world at large should ignore Xavi’s club and national team C.V. because of 3 games?

        • foooo says:

          I know, it’s bizarre. Arsene Wenger once said that he doesn’t believe in signing players based on their performances in a tournament like the world cup or the euros.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          I’m saying we don’t get the CV we get the player at 34, and Spain’s collective results suggest some of those older players are less effective. Well, he plays fine for Barca! But he ain’t playing with Barca around him here. Plenty of big name internationals have come here and struggled if they want to loaf through a contract. Matthaus, etc.

          Make fun of me all you want, but when the paycheck Qatar teams start going, hmmmm, maybe these guys are slipping, a more serious league might want to pay attention.

          Wenger’s recent Arsenal form suggests he doesn’t necessarily know how to compose a winner anymore.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            I think this comment makes a lot more sense than your first.

            Though I still don’t see how Qatar’s decisions should mean anything to MLS.

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              The middle eastern leagues seem to be quite content to trade cash for a name, even one on the wane. If a league content to throw cash around has concerns, one like MLS that tends to be more serious about signing players with gas in the tank and value to give should look even harder than them……and they were dropping their salary proposals.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Imperative: I see you making two points:

                1) 34-yr old Xavi is not the same player as 20-31-yr old Xavi. His CV says something, but not everything. 20-31-yr old Xavi is worth $$$; 34-yr old Xavi is worth ???.

                I concur with this point.

                2) If Qatar passed on him, then MLS should reconsider.

                I disagree on this point.

                As you point out, Qatar and MLS are two vastly different leagues. One is like Disney on Ice and the other is like—well, is trying to be like the Olympics. One is an all-star exhibition, the other a serious competition. One is an apple, the other is an orange.

                The fact that Qatar don’t still see Xavi’s “star” value should mean little to a league that is most interested in playing ability.

                Qatar: “Market analysis indicates that Player X does not enjoy support from the 14-21-yr old demographic.”

                MLS: “Who cares? Player X knocked in 14 goals and 21 assists last season.”

  2. Danny says:

    Well, if any team can wiggle out of a league rule (i.e. 3 DPs) it’s the Sounders.

    “No, no, no. This isn’t a 4th DP! It’s a re-allocation of the allotted transfer fee of the sale of Montero coupled with the relinquishment of conditional draft picks, homegrown players, and residuals of the Obafemi Martins negotiation, added to the allocation money left over under the cap. It’s not a 4th DP.”

  3. Aguinaga says:

    Man City Junior NEEDS this. How else are they going to convince people to come watch 3 stars and 8 who are ya’s play a soccer game at a baseball stadium, let alone sell those crappy season ticket packages they are cold calling and pushing former Red Bull game attendees, on Comcast style?

  4. MLSfan says:

    I can definitely see Xavi landing with NYCFC.
    They really want to make an entrance into MLS.

  5. espada says:

    With David Villa at NYCFC, kinda see Xavi coming to that team. But does he not want to go to Qatar anymore?

  6. reignman says:

    As a Seattle fan I don’t want him. We are playing very well right now and adding new parts is not always the answer. Also if you bring him you are going to have to push out someone like Pappa who has been in very good form.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Exactly. If Seattle wants a marquee signing, consider a new centerback to replace Traore. Or someone to replace Yedlin once he jumps. The midfield is well-covered.

      • Stephen says:

        Sounders fans wanted Pappa gone last season. Also, midfield depth is never a bad thing.

        Not a Seattle fan, but they’d be crazy not to want Xavi. Good on them for trying to make it work.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Anyone who wanted Pappa gone last season doesn’t understand the need for patience in soccer. They probably also wanted Dempsey out. It’s silly.

          I’m not arguing against “wanting” Xavi. I’m arguing against it being the highest priority. Seattle has serious weakness or lack of depth all along the back line. With Yedlin likely set to move, that will be even worse.

        • Clint says:

          Pappa wasnt signed til this year

        • SingularityCup says:

          Uhm, This is Pappa’s first season in Seattle.

  7. Vic says:

    Not sure why Barcelona would let Xavi leave on a free transfer and pay him a significant portion of his contract considering he’s the one who wants to leave.

    • frank from santiago says:

      i suppose, maybe they feel he’s giving so much to the club (titles + he’s a legend at the club) and has played all his professional career there, that they are allowing him to do whatever he likes?

    • CeezNYRB says:

      Because Barça is “more than a club”. There’s a different dynamic between the club and its players, especially one widely considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the club and internationally.

    • Matt says:

      You think Barca still wants him for the amount of money he’s still due? Have you watched him play lately?
      It’s a good move for both…Barca is off the hook for a lot of money, and Xavi gets to move on.

  8. cabrito says:

    Every club seems to be, at the very least, attempting to improve itself, except my pathetic Quakes. They may be the best argument for a relegation system in MLS.

    • frank from santiago says:

      +1000000000. was a sth for a few years when I lived there, sad how they keep coming up with all kind of excuses not to improve. hopefully things will change soon with the opening of the new stadium.

    • beto says:

      Your not alone, there are a number of clubs, still most of the league, not looking to make dp signings. Personally i think this is fine if these clubs are actively developing talent and staying competitive. Columbus, Colorado, Dallas, Chicago, Salt Lake all fit this category.

      San Jose’s pres has stated that they are looking to make a big signing in the winter before the new stadium opens.

      • BumpBailey says:

        I don’t think $1 million equates to a “big splash”. That equates to one mid level player or a bunch of more nobodies…As a fan dating back to 1976, I wish Lew would give me a reason to buy season tickets. I don’t see it happening though… It’s sad, San Jose is such a soccer hot bed. Very knoweldgeable fan base that isn’t going to supprt this club the way it should supported if they keep putting that crap on the field. Shiny hew stadium and all. It pains me to say it but this team is a joke.

    • Paul says:

      The Fire are still hapless. Small comfort I know.

    • Quit whining about US soccer says:

      The best record in 2012 is the argument FOR relegation ?
      Man,easier than I thought to be on the winning side of that arguement.

  9. Albert Johnson says:

    Time for the MLS to add 5 Designated players to the roster and to up the overall salary cap by at least 1 million dollars. While the World Cup has garnered popularity in the US, pundits and tv networks have been slamming the low quality of the league. The league should be focused on being the best league in the Americas but we can’t even beat the Mexican league for the Concacaf Cups. In matter of fact the Mexican teams absolutely destroy MLS teams all the time.

    • Chance says:

      If you up the cap and the number when a player’s salary requires they be a DP then you probably wouldn’t need to bump the DP number. Definitely not to 5. I think a big bump to the cap and the DP minimum would be enough. That would allow teams to go out and find some high quality talent without having to make them DPs. A good recent example of how this would help teams is the Ridgewell signing by Portland. If cap/dp min increased they could sign him and not have to use their 3rd dp slot.

    • DudeBro says:

      Get rid of the Designated Player system
      Quadruple the salary cap
      Double the league minimum

      Give Bob Kraft the Chivas treatment

  10. Helium-3 says:

    This is for the Donovan supporters out there who think the guy is world class but have no idea what it means. If you are world class, you would be helping LAG beat the best Mexican teams to win the CCL. He has never been able to do that, even when they had Beckham and Keane on the same team.
    Most of CCL matches in the past, dude has disappeared during game. No excuses when you already have guys like Beckhman and Keane on the team.

    If he couldn’t do it when he was in his prime, it ain’t gonna happen now.

  11. cformusic says:

    would love to see Xavi in this league..however, buyer beware..you’d have to be prepared to build the front 6 around him since he really can’t run anymore..meaning a protector at DM..runners for the flanks..and strikers that prefer to play with balls to their feet and running into space for through balls

    • AC says:

      I was thinking the same thing. He’s talented and has great vision but also due to the systems of Barcelona and Spain, which played to his strengths. I can’t really see Xavi tracking back if possession is lost and slide-tackling a guy. I wonder how patient he will be in a league that doesn’t really have a team that is possession dominating like Barcelona. La Liga may be more technical, but MLS is more physical which can also be a danger to him.

      • Eurosnob says:

        I wouldn’t be stressed out about Xavi ability to handle speed and physical play – did fine against Chelsea and ManUtd in the champions league. And one can play good defense without flying into slide tackles. The big question is how he would perform, when you surround him with a bunch of players who have a soccer IQ of a baboon, when compared to players from Spain/Barcelona.

  12. Joamiq says:

    Really sounds like he’d be coming for the paycheck and nothing else. If on top of that he’s disappointed not to be getting his Qatari money, I don’t know how well this is going to work out for MLS.

  13. Chris says:

    Haha youre such a loser. Im sure it has nothing to do with the lack of depth for MLS teams or the huge salary disparity between the two leagues. No one is going to win anything with leonardo in the back

  14. Yankeedom says:

    I’d like to preface my comment with the fact that I don’t know all the “ins and outs” of the DP salaries.

    So I think its safe to say that Xavi has been most strongly linked to an NYCFC move if he were to come to MLS. Recently, we’ve seen him being linked to a few more teams around MLS.

    In my opinion, Xavi’s best bet would be the NYCFC move. He would be reunited with Villa, he’d be playing in the biggest city in the world (bigger endorsement and marketing possibilities), and I’m assuming NYC is more of a “Spanish friendly”, international city than Seattle for example.

    This leads me to believe that NYCFC has backed away from Xavi, more so than Xavi moving away from an NYCFC move. Perhaps, NYCFC isn’t offering him as much money as they had initially for whatever reason. I believe this has caused Xavi to look into other teams who are willing to offer a higher salary.

    Again, I’m assuming DP salaries vary from player to player. So while he may get a DP contract with any MLS side, at least 1 team is offering him a higher salary than NYCFC. Just my theories.

    • The Garrincha says:

      Yankee, I quite agree.
      Villa and Xavi, reunited at nycfc, would make for a smoother transition for both.

  15. The Other Jeff says:

    Alonzo is barely over the DP comp threshold, maybe even under it next year. Could easily buy him below DP to make room for another DP. If Yedlin leaves, shove Evans to RB and you leave a midfield of Pineda Pappa Xavi Ozzie with a deep bench. Not saying Sounders will or even should, just that they could and it isn’t a foolish idea.

  16. beto says:

    Glad to see Xavi not going to the Arab desert, he still has quite a bit to contribute and his presence in MLS would be great. Hopefully they sign him to a realistic contract.

    Personally i think he would work really well with Kreis and the Yankee Stadium field.

  17. Byob el paso tx says:

    finally red bulls want to open their wallet, besides nycfc, sounders, toronto and galaxy.
    so why go for xavi when u can get ronaldinho with some good cash :)
    obviously red bull are afraid of nycfc taking over their fans and sounders are being big boys now. by the way, red bull need a rebrand asap and just keep red bull as a sponsor and owner.
    as for teams like rsl, crew, fc dallas, philly, send dps a video of your city showing the quality of life and how beautiful your city is in order to compete versus seattle or los angeles.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      No photos of any city will compete with Seattle for “how beautiful the city is” or the “quality of life.” RSL is the only one on your list that comes close.

  18. bryan says:

    if i was Xavi, Seattle would be an EASY decision. my guess is Seattle can pay down Alonso’s contract and if Yedlin is sold, then they should absolutely be able to. NYRB would also be good because he can play with Henry again and can play on a nice grass surface. with these moves, he at least can start playing immediately and het a half season in. might help the clubs since only half the minimum DP salary would hit the books.

    with NYCFC, he’ll get to be a part of a new club and play with Villa again. while it’ll be a grass field, it’s in a baseball stadium. but given it is Yankee Stadium, it’s not a terrible idea. issue here is figuring out what to do until they start playing. plus, i just personally don’t want to see two of NYCFC’s DPs to be Lampard and Xavi. that’s old. one or the other.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      So what you’re saying is that any of those options would be good for him… and thus, the decision would not be easy :-)

      Assuming all of those clubs actually bid for him….

      • bryan says:

        lol yes, i think all could be good for him, but if i was Xavi, it would be no contest. Seattle would be my choice. easy decision. big club, good players, tons of fans, soccer culture, etc.

        but hey, maybe he would hate the lack of sun given he has been in Barca for so long.

        and yes, we’re under the assumption these three all actually made/will make bids to sign him.

        • Clint says:

          FYI bud,.. Seattle is having the best spring and summer on record

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Temps in the 70-80s for 20 days in a row, no rain for over 40 days. The fact that those are some kind of record is what would worry someone from Barcelona.

    • Quit whining about US soccer says:

      Would rather we (Seattle) keep Yedlin.

      Local guy.
      Bright future.
      Need to replace D if he leaves.

      Keep Yedlin and let someone elee worry about having older players…

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        I’m assuming that keeping Yedlin is not an option—that, even more than money, he will want the opportunity to play in Europe.

  19. njrb says:

    This is the first I hear of the red bulls being in on the sweepstakes. This is exactly who we need, xavi and Cahill in the middle spreading balls out to Henry and BWP. A very decent size Spanish population in the area as well which couldn’t only raise the attendance numbers. Praying for this one to happen being a fcb/njrb fan and I personally wanted him back at barca! But if he’s going anywhere…..

    • slowleftarm says:

      We already have Henry pinging passes all over the place. Red Bulls need help on defense, spending huge money on a washed-up Xavi is not the answer. Dude will play for 12-18 months max and will decline the entire time.

      And the “Spanish” population in the area isn’t from Spain so I don’t know how huge a draw Xavi will be.

      • njrb says:

        Well I don’t think he’s washed up from watching him play. Did his play drop a notch? Of course it did but this does not mean that this man isn’t a top notch player. He would start on mid table teams in the top leagues of the world and perhaps start on some top teams. These wash up claims are media generated, this man can play but its just that he cant handle the heavy work load of a big European club. Too many games, its a different beast. He would easily become the best midfielder in MLS. Take him in a heartbeat…… If you’re from the area you would know that there is a strong amount of spanish from Spain in the area. Xavi would bring butts to the seats regardless.

  20. Aguinaga says:

    How much influence does the league have in where a DP signs (given they ultimately draft the contract) when two or three MLS teams are vying for the same signature?

  21. slowleftarm says:

    RBNY season ticket holder here who has zero desire to see Xavi join. Arguably the greatest Spanish player of all time but those days are long gone and I’m not interested in paying huge money for a washed-up Qatar league reject. Let Sheikh Mansour FC sign him in an effort to lure people to their baseball stadium.

    • Adam M. says:

      Please. The only reasons Xavi isn’t moving to another first-division European team now are possibly loyalty to Barca and defintley money, namely (i) the clubs that have it would rather spend it on one or more younger players (understandably) and (ii) Xavi can still command large dollars from destination leagues like MLS and Qatar, so his incentive to is move to one of those leagues rather than start for a high or mid-table first division European club for less money. As a Red Bull season ticket holder, you are crazy if you don’t want someone of his existing ability keeping possession and distributing the ball to Henry, Sam and BWP. If NYCFC lands him, you’ll see soon enough in person either way when its Villa and Lampard.

      • slowleftarm says:

        My comment is half tongue in cheek, at least the Qatar league reject part, and don’t get me wrong – Xavi is a legend. But I don’t think he’s going to be effective much longer and I’d rather RBNY use that precious DP spot on someone younger and build something that can last a little bit longer. Remember, Henry is likely done at the end of the year so there’s going to be a bit of a rebuild this winter.

        • Adam M. says:

          I’d love to get Robinho at 30 years old to put on the other side of Sam, but alas he appears to be going to Orlando with Kaka (which would be a monster start for them and great for the league). I’d settle for Xavi for two years passing to Henry and then Zlatan.

    • Chris says:

      You are clueless.

  22. Cairo says:

    Hmm, a key figure on a top three team in Spain can’t help an MLS team? Unless he’s got an injury that we don’t know about, that’s just crazy talk. How many teams in the world (outside of MLS) would value Xavi below Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, or Tim Cahill? Not many. Give him a two year contract at probably $5-8 million per, and let him bring a little culture to an improving league. We have some very good foreign offensive mids in our league now–Morales, Higuain, Valeri come to mind…but Xavi is something different. I’d pay to watch him play with David Villa…

    • Quit whining about US soccer says:

      Unfortunately that about sums up way too much if US soccer fansone of the biggest reasons to be against these signings…. The casual fans who need Superclub action for them to buy in.

  23. Clint says:

    If MLS is somehow able to sign geezer Xavi for about-or less than- Dempsey/Bradley then this may set an example for other World Football greats and their managers to pay attention to; that this league is in need of your services but is unwilling to pay top dollar after you are well past your expiry

  24. Roger Caramelo says:

    I am shocked the Revs aren’t in on this!

  25. RBNY says:

    Would like to have Xavi, but we don’t need him. We DO desperately need someone to pair with Olave better than a traffic cone however.

    I personally don’t think Xavi fits at this point in time with us. If he replaced the Dax, the back 4 would be seriously exposed. Our problem isn’t scoring goals, our problem is protecting Robles.

    A DP Center half, or Jermaine Jones please.

  26. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Looks like Seattle made an early move and already found their midfielder: Xander Bailey (aka Seattle Xander).

    link to soundersfc.com

    Or is this just further indication that Seattle wants an X-named midfielder…?

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