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Xavi rules out sale of Barcelona goalkeeper, considers him “best in the world”



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona are expected to offload a bunch of unwanted stars in the summer transfer window. But while players like Clement Lenglet are likely to be sold, a report from Diario AS has come up with a list of players who have been given the “non-transferrable” tag.

The list is headed by Pedri, Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Ansu Fati. But another player who stands out on the list is Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The report suggests the German is rated highly in the Barcelona camp despite his inconsistent performances over the past couple of years. In fact, Xavi considers him the “best goalkeeper in the world”.

It is a crucial report given the fact that many had expected ter Stegen to be offloaded in the near future in light of his indifferent performances in recent years.

After a promising start to his life in Catalonia, the German has indeed endured a steady downfall, with his save percentage ratio taking a consistent downward trend from the 2017/18 campaign.

Through sheer technicality, this is ter Stegen’s worst season at Barcelona – seasons in which he has featured in at least ten league games. The German’s save percentage this term stands at 71.2%, which is quite low for his lofty standards and is slightly over the league average.

But that hasn’t deterred Xavi, who rates him highly particularly due to his ability on the ball. The Barcelona coach considers the former Gladbach stopper best in the world when it comes to controlling the ball and distributing it from the back.

It is a crucial element in Xavi’s tactical setup. As such, the Spaniard has no intention to offload the goalkeeper in the near future. Ter Stegen’s current contract at Camp Nou doesn’t expire until 2025 either, so it appears the German could end his career at the club.

Barcelona, though, are certain to make one adjustment in the goalkeeping department. With Neto set to leave the club, Inaki Pena could return to the fold, potentially serving as ter Stegen’s understudy from next season onwards.

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