Xavi Hernandez looks to have made a surprising u-turn on his future - opting to stay with Barcelona having seemed all but certain to be heading to New York City FC and Major League Soccer this summer.
The Barcelona great, who has spent his entire career with the Catalan club, was expected to be departing Spain for a new challenge this close season. But, according to numerous reports Wednesday, it looks like the veteran midfielder has chosen instead to stick with the La Liga giants until January 2015 at the very least.
As reported by NBC Sports, Xavi is set to hand MLS' newest franchise a major blow as they prepare for their league debut in 2015 by turning down a move to NYCFC. It is believed that the midfield maestro would have been required to take a significant pay-cut in order to sign on in New York and this may have been a deciding factor in the 35-year-old's decision to remain at the Nou Camp.
Offers on the table
Reports earlier this week suggested that Xavi was close to agreeing a three-year deal with the MLS franchise, who recently secured the signature of former Barca and Spain teammate David Villa, that would have seen him pick up around $8.1 million per season.
That is a significant drop from his current earnings at Barcelona, and, as The Daily Mail reports, following last minute talks with new boss Luis Enrique it seems the diminutive midfielder is not quite ready to take a pay-cut just yet.
There was also believed to be an offer from Qatar, but after initial interest Xavi rejected the idea of a move to the Middle East.
Barcelona rebuild, NYCFC laying foundations
Xavi's decision will delight both Barcelona fans and his club teammates. Current defender Marc Bartra had only yesterday voiced his fears over Xavi's impending departure.
The prospect of seeing the man who has won 22 trophies during a stellar career in the Catalan city line up once more alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar will also certainly be a boost for new man Enrique.
As for New York City FC they remain hopeful of confirming a deal for former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard in the coming days as they continue to add to their roster.