Xavi eyed Lewandowski, Félix exits at Barcelona – sources

Xavi Hernández wanted to move on Robert Lewandowski, João Félix, João Cancelo and Vitor Roque if he stayed on as Barcelona coach, sources have told ESPN.

Xavi was sacked by Barça last week and took charge of his final game on Sunday, a 2-1 win over Sevilla as the Catalan side ended the season second in LaLiga and trophy-less.

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However, sources have told ESPN that, prior to his dismissal, he had radical plans to overhaul the squad this summer, especially in attack.

The coach wanted to freshen things up by getting rid of top goal scorer Lewandowski, loanees Félix and Cancelo and January signing Roque.

Lewandowski, 35, still has two years to run on a four-year contract, although the final year is dependent on him playing a certain number of games next season.

The Poland striker, who has scored 59 goals in 95 appearances since signing from Bayern Munich in 2022, spoke last week of his desire to remain at the Catalan club.

He shares representation with German coach Hansi Flick, who sources have told ESPN will be Xavi’s successor, in the form of Pini Zahavi, who is one of several agents who have a significant influence at Barça.

Flick also worked with Lewandowski when he was Bayern coach, with the Bundesliga club winning the treble in 2019-20.

Jorge Mendes is another agent with sway at Barça and his clients, Félix and Cancelo, have both spent this season on loan at the LaLiga side.

Félix is now due to return to Atlético Madrid and Cancelo to Manchester City. Both could return to Barça this summer, although sources have told ESPN that Xavi was not keen on re-signing either.

After making a strong start to his loan spell, Félix ended the season out of the team. He scored 10 goals in his 44 appearances.

Cancelo was an ever-present under Xavi when available, but sources told ESPN the coach was also happy for the Portugal international to return to City.

Mendes’ power at Barça alo extends to several other players at the club, including Lamine Yamal, Alejandro Balde and Ansu Fati.

Brazil striker Roque, meanwhile, joined Barça for an initial €31 million ($33.7m) from Athletico Paranaense but has struggled for game time under Xavi, scoring twice in 16 appearances.

Xavi recently said that the intention had not been for Roque, who is still just 18, to arrive mid-season but for him to continue his development in his homeland before signing this summer.

Roque’s agent, Andre Cury, has said that his client has no intention of leaving Barça on loan next season and that, if he does have to leave, it would be on a permanent transfer.