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Xavi eyeing La Liga midfielder with €60 million release clause for Barcelona – report

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Journalist Ferran Martinez has reported on Mundo Deportivo that Villarreal midfielder Alex Baena is someone whom Xavi likes a lot and the Barcelona manager is of the idea that the Spaniard’s profile fits perfectly into his scheme of things.

The reporter also mentions that Baena extended his contract with Villarreal only last year, until 2028, and like Dani Olmo, another Barcelona target, the 22-year-old has a release clause in his contract which is set at €60 million.

The amount may seem out of reach at the moment, but come next summer, the Blaugrana are expected have enough fuel in the tank to bid for the player, particularly after missing out on Bernardo Silva this summer.

Xavi wants to address over-reliance on Pedri

In all fairness, Xavi’s eagerness to secure a technically proficient midfielder stems from a fundamental problem: a perceived overreliance on Pedri’s magical abilities within the team.

This concern is compounded by the fact that Pedri has been significantly hampered by muscle injuries throughout his Barcelona career, rendering him unavailable for several weeks.

As it turns out, he is currently sidelined and his return is not anticipated until after the upcoming international break in October.

Possible obstacles in Barcelona’s chase of Baena

In Barcelona’s pursuit of Baena, his progression and his integration within the Villarreal team this season is going to play a big role.

Furthermore, Barcelona will keenly observe how Pablo Torre, the loaned player, fares during his time at Girona.

Baena is brimming with potential but is yet to hit his peak. Naturally, Villarreal remain resolute, showing no willingness to compromise on the value stipulated in his release clause, making any potential transfer a challenging endeavour.

Just like they did with Juan Foyth, the La Liga club are largely expected to play hardball if Barcelona are to approach the player in the winter or during the next summer transfer market.

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