Ten Hag plans devastating Man Utd swoop for Barcelona duo, with Jorge Mendes tipped to unlock big-money deal
Manchester United are eyeing a double swoop for two Barcelona players, in a move which threatens to derail Xavi’s project at the Camp Nou.
Xavi took charge of a club in crisis when he was named Barcelona manager in November 2021. The Spanish giants had just sacked Ronald Koeman due to the team being ninth in the La Liga table.
It was unclear how Xavi would do as Barca boss. He is a legend of the club, having won 25 trophies during his playing days there, something which always helps with the fanbase.
However, the former midfielder was relatively inexperienced in terms of managing a senior team. He had been in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd for two years when Barca came calling.
Despite the 43-year-old not having any experience managing at the top level, he has done a great job so far with Barca.
Last season, he helped the Blaugrana climb to second in the table. And this term they could become Spanish champions for the first time since 2018-19 as they have a five-point lead on Real Madrid after 19 games.
Plus, Xavi is helping Barca find some success in cup competitions. They beat beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Spanish super cup final last month. And they remain in the Europa League and Spanish cup, too.
However, Barca’s progress under Xavi could be derailed by Man Utd’s ambitious transfer plans. On Wednesday, it emerged Ten Hag is hoping to raid Barca for former Leeds winger Raphinha.
Man Utd could capitalise on Barca’s financial woes
Spanish source Cadena Ser claim financial issues will force Barca into selling a big name in the summer, and Raphinha is the most likely to depart.
Ten Hag thinks Raphinha would be a great addition to his team due to how the Brazilian performed at Leeds. Raphinha excelled in a Leeds shirt and became their main source of goals at one point.
Now there is the possibility of two Barca players leaving and going to Old Trafford. According to Spanish newspaper Sport, Man Utd hold a strong interest in fellow attacker Ansu Fati.
Man Utd chiefs will be keeping tabs on the 20-year-old winger over the coming months ahead of launching a summer move.
Man Utd have sounded out the possibility of capturing Fati. Barca have told them he is not for sale, but that stance may change if their financial problems worsen.
Ten Hag appears to have an ace up his sleeve in the form of super-agent Jorge Mendes. He knows both clubs very well and is being tipped to use this knowledge to unlock what could become an expensive deal.
transfermarkt place Fati’s value at €50m (£44.8m). Man Utd would probably need to get near this sum to agree a deal with Barca.
There have also been suggestions Anthony Elanga could be sent to Barca to help a transfer go through, either for Raphinha or Fati.
Landing both Raphinha and Fati would be a brilliant double move from Ten Hag. Raphinha is a Premier League-ready star, while Fati is a youngster with bags of potential.
While the latter has had serious injury concerns, if he can stay fit then he could become a world-beater.
In contrast to Ten Hag, Xavi losing both of those players would be a major blow. It would weaken his attacking options and force him to dip into the transfer market for replacements.
Meanwhile, Man Utd have reportedly found out how much Napoli striker Victor Osimhen will cost to sign in the summer.