Xavi Decides on New Left-Back for Barcelona: Report


    Xavi has a new left-back in mind.

    Jordi Alba remains Barcelona’s first choice at left-back but the club are keen to bring in another defender to provide competition for the 33-year-old Spain international who is edging closer to the end of his playing career.

    Coach Xavi Hernandez and his technical staff have decided on their preferred option and would like to add Celta Vigo left-back Javi Galan to the squad for the 2022-23 season, as reported by Javi Miguel at Diario AS.

    Barca have been following Galan for a “long time” and have decided the 27-year-old is the “ideal candidate” to battle with Alba for the left-back spot in the starting XI. The defender is a regular at Celta and is liked for his speed and willingness to attack.

    Galan is contracted to Celta until 2026 but Barca do have a good relationship with the Galicians. Midfielder Denis Suarez left Barcelona for Celta in 2019, while former assistant coach Juan Carlos Unzué swapped the Camp Nou for Balaidos in 2017.

    Alba is currently the only senior left-back in the Barcelona squad. Sergino Dest has covered for Alba on occasion this season but his preferred position is on the opposite flank, while 18-year-old Alejandro Balde has also featured but is still technically part of Barca B.

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    Barca Set For Busy Summer?

    Barcelona have been linked with several left-backs this season including Alejandro Grimaldo, Alex Moreno, and Nicolas Tagliafico. Yet Galan appears to have jumped to the top of the list ahead of the summer transfer window.

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    However, signing a left-back is unlikely to be a top priority for Barca. The Catalans first want to complete contract extensions for Ronald Araujo, Gavi, and Ousmane Dembele in a bid to secure their long-term futures.

    Miguel adds that Barcelona will then attempt to bring in a new No. 9 to strengthen the attack. Only after those deals have been completed would the club be in a position to look at the defense once more.

    Jordi Alba Talks Future

    Replacing Alba will not be an easy task for whoever comes into the club. The Spain international is a mainstay in the Barcelona defense and remains an important attacking outlet.

    The 33-year-old has seven assists in 22 La Liga matches in 2021-22. Only forwards Karim Benzema, Ousmane Dembele, and Oscar Trejo have managed more in Spain’s top flight this season.

    Alba has acknowledged that he is heading towards the end of his playing days, and that the next World Cup will be his last, but has told Diario Sport that he is not ready to think about hanging up his boots just yet.

    “This will be my last World Cup . I arrive at a very good time and I’m waiting for the coach’s call to try win another World Cup,” said. “When the day of my retirement comes, it will be hard, but I still have a lot left, because I take care of myself as much as possible. Everything happens very quickly when you’re getting older, you value everything more.”

    Alba has shown this season that he still has plenty to offer Barcelona, but there’s no doubt that left-back is a position where the club are short of options.

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