Manchester United and Liverpool are both in the running to sign Gavi this summer, according to reports. Behind Lionel Messi, the Barcelona wonderkid may well represent the second best free transfer opportunity with his contract at the Nou Camp currently winding down.
Gavi came through the ranks at Barca’s esteemed La Masia academy, breaking into the first team just after his 17th birthday. As one of the stars of Spanish football, he agreed a new deal in September last year, although the months following have been fraught with complications.
La Liga chiefs have denied the registration of the contract, returning Gavi’s status to that of an academy player. He is therefore unable to wear his preferred No 6 and will instead wear No 30, while crucially for Barca, the debacle leaves them vulnerable to a free transfer exit.
Although the contract initially agreed between the player and the club contained a huge release clause, Gavi’s current situation means he will be able to leave the Nou Camp for free when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The club supposedly intend to take further legal action in an effort to resolve the matter. Slashing the wage bill will be high on manager Xavi’s priority list this summer as Barcelona look to mend their tense relationship with La Liga.
In the meantime, FourFourTwo claim that Man Utd and Liverpool are among those preparing to scrap it out for Gavi if the situation remains unresolved. Manchester City have also been credited with a chance due to the allure of working with ex-Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
A return to Barcelona had been touted but the club’s financial predicament makes it unlikely. PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi discussed Messi’s future late last year and revealed that plans were in place to ramp up negotiations after the World Cup.
“Will we keep Messi and [Kylian] Mbappe? Of course,” he said. “They are the two best players in the World Cup. I don’t want to say anything more about Leo, we have an agreement to talk after the World Cup.”