Despite Being Told to Search for New Clubs, 2 Barcelona Stars Return to Training Against Xavi’s Instructions

Despite Being Told to Search for New Clubs, 2 Barcelona Stars Return to Training Against Xavi’s Instructions

Babajide Orevba
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:06 PM
  • Barcelona players have returned for pre-season training but some players have been told to sort out their futures
  • Despite that the manager Xavi Hernandez had told Rigui Puig and Neto not to return, both stars arrived for the mandatory medical tests
  • Mass exodus looms at the Catalan club as reports say Memphis Depay could also exit the outfit this summer

The pair of Riqui Puig and Neto showed up for Barcelona’s pre-season medicals on Monday despite earlier instructions that they should search for other clubs.

The Catalan giants finished second on the La Liga standings last season and now the players have returned to the club for pre-season training.

Most members of the squad reported to the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper for mandatory medical tests and according to Mundo Deportivo, there were a few surprise faces, SPORTbible reports.

Riqui Puig, Neto, Barcelona, Xavi
Barcelona stars Puig returns to training against the wish of manager Xavi Hernandez. Photo: Jose Breton
Source: Getty Images

It was gathered that backup goalkeeper Neto and La Masia graduate Riqui Puig who were told to sort out their futures elsewhere were spotted on Monday.

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Xavi reportedly notified the pair not to return until July 11, so it remains unsure if they would be allowed to train on Monday afternoon.

Many had thought Puig could step into Lionel Messi’s shows following impressive show when the Argentine was still around, SB Nation reports.

But that did not happen as the 22-year-old only managed 14 appearances in the whole of last season as Xavi rates teenagers Gavi and Pedri above him.

Neto, on the other hand, arrived in 2019 as support for Marc-Andre ter Stegen and has made 21 appearances in three years.

Mass exodus looms at FC Barcelona

Meanwhile, four Barcelona stars have their future in limbo after Xavi reportedly told them to find new clubs instead of resuming training ahead of the new season.

The Catalan club is still trying to find its feet as far as finances are concerned, and there are some players who are considered surplus to requirements at the moment.

Barca oversaw the sale of several key players over the past 12 months, but reports from the Mirror suggest the financial situation is still worrying.

Xavi rates Lionel Messi above Cristiano Ronaldo

Sports Brief earlier reported that Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has stated emphatically that Lionel Messi has an edge over his fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo as both players continue to generate debates.

Xavi had no hesitation in choosing his former teammate Messi who remains the only man to have won the coveted Ballon d’Or seven times.

Several notable figures have also joined the debate weighing their opinion, but Xavi believes Messi is clearly different from his Portuguese counterpart.

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Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.