Xavi rejected Manchester United move this summer

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Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez rejected the chance to join his former manager Louis van Gaal at Manchester United this summer, it has emerged.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo add that the now retired Spain international also rejected the opportunity to reunite with another former coach, Pep Guardiola, at Bayern Munich.

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Xavi did not want to join rival club

The 34-year-old, who is now widely regarded as one of the greatest central midfielders of all time, answered both enquiries with a resounding no after making it clear that he was not willing to join one of Barcelona’s European rivals.

Bayern Munich, having won the Champions League in 2013, undoubtedly fall into that category. But Manchester United are not playing in either the Champions League or Europa League this term, having finished last season’s Premier League campaign in seventh place.

It seems, though, that Xavi still regards Manchester United as one of Barcelona’s main European rivals and expects them to make a return to the Champions League next season.

Xavi was expected to quit Barcelona

Van Gaal, who handed Xavi his professional debut during his first spell with Barcelona in 1998, was keen to sign the world-class midfielder after learning that the player was keen to leave the Camp Nou.

Xavi was expected to follow the likes of Victor Valdes and Carles Puyol out of the Catalan club this summer, before stunning everyone by performing a dramatic U-turn in July.

The Spaniard had a firm offer to join Frank Lampard and former Barcelona teammate David Villa at New York City FC, while there were also offers on the table from clubs based in the Middle East.

Xavi made Barcelona captain

It’s understood that Xavi was open to joining a team in the United States or an Arabic club, but he eventually opted to stay put at the Camp Nou and work under his former teammate Luis Enrique, who handed the veteran midfielder the captain’s armband.

Despite being made the new Barcelona skipper, Xavi is expected to play less minutes this season following the acquisition of Croatia international Ivan Rakitic, who joined from Sevilla this summer.

Van Gaal, after missing out on Xavi, ended up spending almost £74 million the signings of Angel di Maria and Daley Blind, who are expected to line-up alongside £29 million Ander Herrera after the international break.

The current United boss is still searching for his first competitive victory since replacing David Moyes at Old Trafford, having picked up a disappointing two points from his opening three Premier League matches in charge of the English giants.

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