Barcelona face Alaves at home in La Liga on Sunday (November 12). Xavi will be desperate to return to winning ways following a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
Meanwhile, the Blaugrana are interested in Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi. Elsewhere, the defending La Liga champions are unlikely to make signings in January.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Barcelona transfer stories as on November 9, 2023:
Barcelona eyeing Wilfred Ndidi
Barcelona are interested in Wilfred Ndidi, according to TEAMTALK. The Nigerian midfielder is playing for Leicester City in the Championship, following his team’s relegation from the Premier League last season. The 26-year-old continues to be decisive for the Foxes, who are looking for an immediately return to the top tier.
Ndidi had appeared 15 times across competitions for Leicester this season, scoring three goals and setting up four. His efforts have turned heads at the Camp Nou, with the Blaugrana expected to reinforce their midfield next year. The La Liga giants bid adieu to club legend Sergio Busquets this summer, while Oriol Romeu hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Ilkay Gundogan, who arrived on a Bosman move this summer, is only a short-term fix. As such, their interest in Ndidi is not surprising. However, Barcelona face competition from Atletico Madrid as well as Premier League clubs for the player’s services.
Blaugrana unlikely to sign players in January
Barcelona have informed Xavi not to expect any incomings in January, according to SPORT.
The Spanish manager is looking for a new pivot ahead of the winter. The Blaugrana parted ways with Busquets this summer and signed Romeu as his replacement. However, the Spaniard has struggled to live up expectations and has dropped down the pecking order.
Xavi is eyeing an upgrade on the 32-year-old and is hoping to rope in a new name at the turn of the year. However, he has been informed that it will be virutally impossible to make signings due to the club’s poor finances.
Barcelona are hoping to bring in Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense in January, but even that move isn’t fully guaranteed yet.
Robert Lewandowski rubbishes talk of fued with Xavi
Robert Lewandowski has rubbished talks of a rift with manager Xavi. The Polish striker has been key to Barcelona’s plans since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2022. The 35-year-old has 39 goals and 12 assists from 59 games across competitions.
Recent reports suggest a building difference between Lewandowski and Xavi, following a snubbed handshake during the Real Sociedad game. However, speaking to Polsat Sport after the midweek game against Shakhtar Donetsk, the Polish striker refuted those claims.
“I don’t even know what the situation is. There’s nothing there, no exaggeration.
“When I left the field, I shook hands with the coach. I didn’t even know that this situation appeared in the media. I must have missed something and not seen something,” said Lewandowski.
Lewandowski has missed three games this season due to ankle injury before making a return from the bench against Real Madrid. The 35-year-old added that he’s feeling a lot better now.
“Coming back from injury is not always easy. I worked hard during the rehabilitation period in order to help the team and return to the starting lineup.
“Honestly, today I feel a lot better physically, but playing against a team like Shakhtar was difficult, especially since they defended well and made it difficult for us to get into the box,” said Lewandowski.
“I have confidence when it comes to playing in this position, and it is easy for me to move and compete when it comes to scoring goals. But we have to work on how to provide a good performance and how to dominate the opponent.”
TUDN USA has linked Lewandowski with a move to the MLS in 2024.