Xavi misses Barcelona's pre-season tour flight amid Robert Lewandowski signing due to THIS reason
FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta had to sell 10% of the team's Spanish league television rights for the next 25 years in exchange for 207.5 million euros (USD 207.5 million)
- Barca are set to sign Lewandowski for 50 million euros
- Barca have sold 10% of their TV rights for next 25 years in order to make signings this summer
FC Barcelona coach Xavi missed the team flight to Miami where the Catalans are set to face Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Miami and New York Red Bulls for their preseason games, the club confirmed on Saturday (July 16). After Xavi being a huge influence in the Ousmane Dembele signing his extension on a pay-cut, fans believe that Xavi also has a huge hand in Barcelona agreeing on verbal terms with Bayern Munich for the signing of forward Robert Lewandowski.
However, the club said that Xavi has missed his the flight due to the problems with his passport. The club said that Xavi was unable to travel on the team flight on Saturday "due to administrative reasons and his passport."
Barcelona's Twitter account posted videos of several of its players boarding an airplane at the Barcelona airport on Saturday. Barcelona will play Inter Miami in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on July 19. It will then face fierce rival Madrid in Las Vegas on July 23, before playing Juventus in Dallas on July 26 and the NY Red Bulls in New Jersey on July 30. (WATCH: Robert Lewandowski scores five goals in nine minutes to create history)
Robert Lewandowski said goodbye to Bayern teammates and will sign the contract in the next 24 hours in order to become new Barcelona player. It's agreed since end of February. #FCB
Xavi, in contact with Robert for months to explain the project. pic.twitter.com/0JCL8hzTu4 — Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 16, 2022
Barcelona are set to sign Poland striker Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich after the two European clubs have reached an agreement in principle for Striker's move to Camp Nou, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Moreover, it is believed that Xavi was in contact with Robert for months explaining him the project and his desire to play for FC Barcelona sealed the deal for the Spanish club. The person, who spoke under anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly about the deal, said that the official confirmation of the deal could come on Saturday. Spanish media reports that the transfer would cost Barcelona some 50 million euros (USD 50.4 million).
The 33-year-old Lewandowski, one of the most prolific goalscorers of the past decade, would be a handy boost in Barcelona's chances of rebuilding a competitive team after winning nothing last season following the departure of Messi, its all-time top scorer.
Lewandowski scored 312 goals in 384 Bundesliga games for Bayern and previous club Borussia Dortmund. He hit 35 goals in 34 appearances last season to become the Bundesliga's leading scorer for the seventh time overall.
Barcelona also gets a proven winner. Lewandowski helped Bayern win the 2020 Champions League, after it humiliated Barcelona 8-2 in the quarterfinals. He also scooped up 10 Bundesliga titles, four German Cups, and a Club World Cup with the Bavarian powerhouse.
Robert Lewandowski: “These 8 years were special and I won't forget that. I had a great time in Munich”, he tells @Sky_Torben. #FCBayern
“I will come back to say goodbye to all employees properly”, Lewa says ahead of his move to Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/w91XYTODZ0 — Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 16, 2022
Only the dominance of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has likely stopped Lewandowski from receiving more individual accolades. But Lewandowski said in late May that "my story with Bayern Munich is over" after contract extension talks with Bayern broke down. He had one more season left on his contact with Bayern.
He will now join a team coached by Xavi Hernandez that relied on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres for its goals after they joined last winter. He will also have Spain's young and gifted midfielders Pedri Gonzalez and Gavi to set him up.
Barcelona is mired in debt mostly due to the huge transfer fees and salaries paid out by its previous president and board. In order to make signings this summer, current president Joan Laporta had to sell 10% of the team's Spanish league television rights for the next 25 years in exchange for 207.5 million euros (USD 207.5 million).
Now, with a veteran like Lewandowski soon to be on board, the club is clearly betting on winning titles again in the short term. Last season, Barcelona finished a distant second in Spain to Madrid and failed to advance beyond the Champions League group phase. Lewandowski has won eight Bundesliga titles along with 3 DFP Pokal Cups, 3 UEFA Champions League and a FIFA Club World Cup trophy during his time at Bayern Munich. (With PTI inputs)