Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez reportedly rejected a summer move to Manchester United. Louis Van Gaal is believed to have made an approach for the 34-year-old midfielder.
According to Mundo Deportivo the 34-year-old rejected a move to Manchester to stay at Barcelona, where he is expected to feature less regularly following the arrival of Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
The midfielder has spoken of his admiration of Manchester United and the Premier League in the past. In 2010 he stated that he would have joined Manchester United if he were to ever move to England.
“Rooney, Scholes, Cesc (Fabregas), Nasri and Giggs (are my current favorites).
“I was also a big fan of John Barnes, Chris Waddle and Matt Le Tissier. And although it is a different style, I liked the Paul Ince and Roy Keane partnership Manchester United had.
“They would have been my team had I moved to England.”
The 34-year-old has also heaped praise on United legend Paul Scholes, who he claims is one of the finest midfielders the game has seen in the last number of years.
“In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything.
“He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and he doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more.”
Xavi came through the famed La Masia academy and tempting the Spanish international to come to England has proven too difficult a task with the player now set to end his career at his boyhood club.
Xavi has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or five times, finishing third in 2009,2010 & 2011. He is arguably one of the finest midfielders of his generation and it no surprise that Van Gaal approached the midfielder who had been linked with a move away.
The veteran midfielder decided to stay at Barcelona after talks with new boss Luis Enrique and he will provide vital experience for the Catalan side this season.
Dan Dalton, Pundit Arena.
Featured Image By “Puyol Xavi Messi FC Barcelona Team of the Year 2011” by Christopher Johnson from Tokyo, Japan – FC Barcelona Team of the Year 2011. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.