sport

Xavi assured of Barca future

Barcelona's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is hoping Xavi will express a desire to stay at the Nou Camp but admits the midfielder's future is not yet decided.

Although Xavi has made no official statement about his future, speculation he would leave Barcelona gathered pace during the World Cup when Dan Petrescu, coach of Qatar club Al-Arabi, claimed the Spain international had signed a pre-contract agreement with the club.

Reports later emerged that negotiations between the player and Al-Arabi broke down, although Xavi is understood to have told his inner circle he is still leaving Barcelona after 16 years at the club.

Barca have already let go of one of their key midfielders by selling Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea, but have recalled academy product Rafinha following a successful loan spell with Celta Vigo.

Speaking at the presentation of Barcelona's latest signing Ivan Rakitic, Zubizarreta said Xavi was one of several midfield options.

"We have an excellent player coming from Celta called Rafinha, we have Ivan here with us, (Andres) Iniesta and Xavi," he said.

"Today Xavi is still our player and the number six shirt is still his. We spoke to him before the World Cup and when he returns from holiday we will speak to him again.

"For Xavi any news will be good for us. If he wants to stay that will be excellent news and if he wants to go we will part ways in the best way possible.

"We are talking about a symbol of the club who is decisive to our play. No-one at this club is indispensable but what we are saying is that the conversation we are having with Xavi is still open, we will be delighted if he stays, and he will compete as best as he can. If he decides to take a different path we will accept that."

Zubizarreta also admitted the club had received offers for Alexis Sanchez, adding "we will seek the best possible solution". However, he declared that Pedro was "not for sale".