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Xavi sees Argentine midfielder praised by Messi as ‘icing on the cake’ for the summer



Photo by Hernan Cortez/Getty Images

Barcelona’s midfield is stacked heading into the new season. If the trio of Pedri, Gavi, and Frenkie de Jong was not versatile enough, the imminent arrival of Gundogan elevates the department to a whole new level.

Yet, the German’s arrival may not mark the end of the Blaugranas‘ midfielder-signing spree. After all, Xavi really likes Giovano Lo Celso and still sees him as a viable option to strengthen the setup.

According to reports from Javi Miguel, the Barcelona manager sees Lo Celso to be the icing on the cake in his project. He values the 27-year-old Argentine international’s versatility and quality and sees him as the right fit.

The report further adds that Lionel Messi had a crucial role to play in the Spanish tactician falling in love with the midfielder. Leo is said to have spoken high praise about Lo Celso to Xavi some years ago, even calling him the ‘best player’ in the Argentine national team.

The 27-year-old was on loan at Villarreal from Tottenham last season, scoring two goals and providing three assists in 22 La Liga appearances. With 1.4 key passes and as many shots averaged per game, he was impactful for Quique Setien’s men.

With his loan set to terminate, the midfielder will return to Tottenham Hotspur where he has an active deal until the summer of 2025. His arrival at Spotify Camp Nou would be a dream, but his contractual situation makes the move complicated.

Given their tight finances, Joan Laporta and Xavi would prefer utilising the available leeway to reinforce positions of urgent importance. A few that sit high on that list include a pivot midfielder, a central striker, a right-back, and a left-winger.

There have been talks of utilising Clement Lenglet as a makeweight in the deal, although Tottenham are making progress in the Frenchman’s pursuit as a standalone operation.

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