Last month, Alex Collado informed Xavi Hernandez of his desire to leave Barcelona amid concerns over a lack of first-team opportunities following a flurry of high-profile arrivals at the La Liga giants. The Camp Nou boss – if he hasn’t already – could soon have similar talks with a certain Nico Gonzalez.
The stylish La Masia graduate has made 27 league appearances in an impressive breakthrough campaign in 2021/22. Barca’s well-documented financial problems initially seemed to have cleared the way for Nico to secure the first-team role. Not only in the present but also in the future.
Now that same path looks full of potholes, as a longer New York rush-hour traffic jam forms in front of Barcelona’s so-called ‘new Sergio Busquets’.
Nico Gonzalez absent, Bernardo Silva in Barcelona
Busquets, the original, is still a key part of Xavi’s plans. But now the 2010 World Cup winner also has Franck Kessie at his disposal these days. Plus Pedri, Gavi, Frenkie de Jong and the return of Miralem Pjanic, a player Xavi spent much of the pre-season praise on.
According AS, the potential arrival of Bernardo Silva from Manchester City could be the final straw for Nico. The versatile 20-year-old, who can play as a number six or more advanced as an ‘eight’, is already much lower in the pecking order than he was 12 months ago. Bernardo’s arrival would see Nico take another step up the ladder.
fabrice romano confirm that Barcelona are looking to land the Portuguese playmaker from Man City before the end of the month. And while Pep Guardiola would hate to see such a reliable lieutenant leave the Etihad battlefield, it’s well documented that City don’t tend to keep players on the run against their will.
“I’ve always said I’m happy here, but I have no idea what’s going to happen,” says Bernardo ESPN.
“My relationship with the club is very honest. I have been open with them and they know what I want. If I stay I am very happy, and I will always respect this club and give my best. Otherwise , it’s football and we’ll see what happens.
Not quite the kind of comments that will calm City’s fears.
Manchester City defeat could be Wolves’ gain
According to daily mail, Wolverhampton Wanderers are currently in talks with Nico Gonzalez, although Valencia appear to be a more likely destination as things stand.
With Joao Moutinho out, Wolves boss Bruno Lage had just two midfielders in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Leeds United. Nico would not only be an intriguing addition, but also a necessary one.
“Xavi and (Andres) Iniesta moved into the first team when they were 23 or 24. Nico is only 19 (and he’s already a regular),” says Fran Artiga, coach of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. Objective.
“Very intelligent, and his physique is perfect. With him, we have the chance to build a spectacular footballer.
That ‘luck’ could go to Wolves, however, with Bernardo Silva’s potential arrival in Catalonia driving another nail in Nico’s coffin at Camp Nou.
A talented local academy graduate with the world at his feet replaced by a household name, arriving for huge fees and even bigger salaries. My What A Club In effect.
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