Manchester City are reportedly set to launch a bid to secure Barcelona and Spain midfield maestro Xavi for their Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC.
Having spent his entire career at Barca, Xavi has spoken of retiring at the Nou Camp but last week suggested that he could see out his playing days elsewhere by saying: “Being tied to Barcelona is a privilege, but I don’t know what will happen in the future.”
However, it is understood that Manchester City chiefs are showing strong interest in Xavi, as they formulate plans over how their New York club can make the biggest possible impact in the MLS.
Xavi has won the World Cup, the European Championship and the Champions League among many other trophies and has been in the UEFA team of the year for the past six years, per UEFA.com.
Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Alves: The four FC Barcelona players named to the 2013 FIFA/FIFPro World XI team pic.twitter.com/jGtzxj2s4J— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 13, 2014
A host of other stars have left for the U.S. in the twilight of their careers, including Pele, Bobby Moore and David Beckham, while other big-name players are still plying their trade there, including Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane.
Xavi would add to that list and undoubtedly bring a new spotlight to MLS, which knows it needs marquee signings to expand its fanbase.
There is no doubt this would be a major coup not only for MLS but also City. It would indirectly get American-born or based Barcelona fans more interested in the English club, which would boost City's commercial revenues in the region.
By forming a relationship with Barcelona—which City continue to do following the arrivals of director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano—the Premier League side can also enhance their own squad.
Would Xavi star in MLS?
As Thierry Henry has done with Arsenal, the proposed relationship with Xavi could potentially lead to him training with City during the MLS close-season.
Such a scenario would only benefit the Manchester side as his experience and knowledge would be vitally important in the development of younger players.
As Law's article suggests, Xavi does not know exactly what the future holds, but he could surely land himself a bumper payday if he chooses to finish his career in MLS.
If City can secure his signature on behalf of New York City FC, even if Xavi never wears City blue, he could have a positive impact not only in the U.S. but also in England.