Xavi talks up Barcelona transfer deal: 'We're all winners'

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 23 Jan 2023 15:00 GMT
  • 3 min read
Xavi, Barcelona, 2022/23

Barcelona head coach Xavi has admitted that Memphis Depay's transfer to Atletico Madrid is a move that has suited all parties.

Depay, 28, left Barcelona after 18 months at the club to move to the Spanish capital on a two-and-a-half year contract. He will work under Diego Simeone after Atleti paid €3 million plus €1m in add-ons to secure the Dutchman's signature.

Atletico were in the market for a new forward after loaning Matheus Cunha to Julen Lopetegui's Wolverhampton Wanderers with an option of a permanent deal and losing Portuguese star Joao Felix to Chelsea on a six-month loan.

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They landed on Depay, who has struggled for game time at the start of the 2022/23 season. The former Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester United forward played just five times for Barcelona before his mid-season switch to Atleti, with those appearances totalling up to just 221 minutes of action on the field. As a result, a transfer away was the best solution.

"Memphis asked to leave after he received Atletico's proposal," Xavi revealed. "He asked me to leave, he wasn't comfortable, he wanted to be comfortable again. We all came out of the situation as winners.

"If we can strengthen ourselves, that would be great. If not, it's not urgent. We'll see if we can sign someone, but we must remember Financial Fair Play rules."

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Barcelona's January business

The sale of Depay is the only piece of business that Barcelona have conducted this month. It follows a flurry of activity last summer, which included moves for Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha.

Barcelona signed Robert Lewandowski in the 2022 summer transfer window

Barcelona signed Robert Lewandowski in the 2022 summer transfer window

Franck Kessie, who arrived on a free transfer from AC Milan in 2022, has been linked with an exit already, with Chelsea among the clubs interested in signing him. However, he seems set on staying put at Camp Nou.

In terms of arrivals, Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech is reportedly open to a move to the Blaugrana, but Barcelona are yet to register any concrete interest in the Moroccan. Furthermore, they would face competition from Newcastle United and AS Roma, who are both keen on signing him.