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Xavi talks Messi, Kounde, Barcelona departures ahead of New York Red Bulls friendly

Barcelona will sign off on their pre-season tour of the USA with a final friendly encounter against New York Red Bulls FC at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Having beaten Inter Miami and Real Madrid, Barça were held to a draw by Juventus in their previous game. And they will be hoping to return to winning ways and the pre-season tour on a positive note with a victory over the MLS outfit.

Speaking ahead of the game in his pre-match press conference, manager Xavi Hernandez answered a variety of questions ranging from the rumours surrounding the possible return of Lionel Messi to the club’s objectives and ambitions for the upcoming season.

Talking about Messi’s exit last year and whether a comeback would be a possibility, the 42-year-old said: “I would like Messi’s time at Barça not to have ended. I think he deserves a second stage here. I wish so. If the question is whether I would like him to come back? The answer is a resounding yes.”

Touching upon the arrival of Jules Kounde from Sevilla, Xavi said: “I am very happy with the arrival of Jules Koundé, he will give us a very good ball output. He is a great signing.”

The Barça manager also talked about the club’s transfer window and the kind of depth he sought in his squad, saying: “We sign players, but without breaking the rules. Two players must be available in each position to compete, there are injuries during the season.”

Opening up on the possible departures from Camp Nou this summer, he added: “We have to find solutions for the departures. We have until August 31.”

The former midfielder turned manager talked about the pre-season tour of the USA and the feeling within the camp ahead of the new season, saying: “Barça are a very big club and this shows when you visit countries like the United States.

At the moment we have very good sensations. It is being a very good tour, and the feelings are very positive. The whole season is ahead of us, but we are on the right track.”

There have been speculations that Xavi could use a 3-4-3 formation this season at Barcelona. Responding to those rumours, the manager said: “Yes, the 3-4-3 formation, can be used, that’s a possibility as well.”

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