Barcelona head coach Xavi has talked up the importance of Ronald Araujo and Gavi to his plans, stating that the club “cannot allow” either of the pair to leave.
Araujo, originally signed for Barca's reserves in 2018, has emerged as one of La Liga's most impressive defenders – and did his reputation no harm in grabbing a goal in the recent 4-0 El Clasico win over Real Madrid.
Gavi, meanwhile, is a product of the famed La Masia academy, meaning he is well versed in the type of fast-passing, possession-based football that Blaugrana fans have come to expect from their team.
What has been said?
Ahead of a crunch Liga clash against second-placed Sevilla, Xavi said of Araujo and Gavi: “They are very important. The club cannot allow either of them to leave.
“They are transcendent footballers. I think their renewals are a matter of time. I want to think that the two of them will stay and reach an agreement with the club. I'm optimistic.”
Both players are contracted until 2023, so there is still plenty of time to tie the duo down to long-term deals.
The Dembele situation
One player who is rapidly approaching free agency, however, is Ousmane Dembele, who is yet to agree to a contract extension with the club.
It appears that the ball is in the French winger's court regarding a renewal and Xavi is hopeful Dembele will remain at Camp Nou beyond the 2021-22 campaign.
“I see him very happy and very involved,” the boss asserted. “I have no complaints about him. It depends on him, that's clear. He plays at a high level and if he works hard he can be the best in the world in his position.
“In addition, he is making a difference. For the way I want to play, he's very good.”