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Barcelona board want on-loan forward to continue next season, Xavi’s departure will help



Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona pursued a total of five signings in the 2023 summer transfer market. Inigo Martinez and Ilkay Gundogan were wrapped up on free transfers, while the club shelled out €3.5 million to sign Oriol Romeu from Girona.

Finally, on deadline day, the Catalans also brought in Joao Cancelo on loan from Manchester City, and then completed the signing of Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid.

Most of these transfers have worked for Barcelona this season, with Ilkay Gundogan and Joao Cancelo putting in particularly impressive performances. Inigo Martinez, too, has been tremendous for the most part.

Oriol Romeu, on the other hand, has been far from solid, and will likely not continue at the club beyond this season.

Finally, Felix’s transfer is the one that has been largely contentious. The Portuguese has definitely put in some excellent shifts so far, but has been very inconsistent, with the poor games a huge concern.

That said, his future could very well lie in Catalan capital despite that. Ferran Correas says that Xavi’s departure from the club at the end of the season could benefit Felix as club president Joan Laporta, director Deco, and superagent Jorge Mendes all want him to stay put.

Xavi, in fact, never asked for Felix’s signing. He was pushing for another midfielder, but the board decided to sign the 24-year-old on loan to bolster the attack.

And there definitely have been glimpses of a €100 million player in Felix. He has scored four goals in the league this season in 18 appearances, including the winner against Atletico Madrid and Real Betis.

He was also superb in bits and pieces in the Champions League, with a winner against Porto, and a brace against Royal Antwerp.

Unfortunately, though, his asking price is set at around €80 million, which Barcelona cannot afford. It remains to be seen how the two parties figure out a way around this ahead of the window.

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