Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez says he feels liberated after the transfer window closed with Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso becoming the club’s seventh and eighth signings of the summer.
Barca were one of the busiest clubs in Europe during the window, spending over €150 million on Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde alone.
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Bellerin, Alonso, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie all arrived on free transfers, too, while youngster Pablo Torre joined from Racing Santander.
Over 15 players left the club as well, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergino Dest on Thursday, leaving Xavi relieved he can now work with some certainty regarding who will be at the club this season.
“I feel a little liberated now it’s all over, now we know what we have,” the Barca coach said in a news conference on Friday.
“It’s been a spectacular effort and we have a great squad to work with.”
Despite that, Xavi hinted he would have liked further additions. He revealed earlier in the summer that the club had missed out on Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta and has never hidden his desire to bring in Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.
“It’s almost been the best-case scenario,” Xavi added, reflecting on the transfer window.
“Maybe [we are] lacking a player… but that said, I am super satisfied with how things went. The club made a titanic effort to make the signings we have made happen. I am very happy and grateful for the effort made by everyone.”
One player who remained at the club is Jordi Alba. The left-back has been an ever-present in the side over the last decade but has lost his place to teenager Alejandro Balde recently, while Alonso arrives to provide further competition.
Xavi, though, insists he wanted Alba to remain at Camp Nou following links with Inter Milan and says he will play an important role this season regardless of whether he starts games or not.
“I want Jordi here, as a captain, but also as a person I have a good relationship with,” Xavi said.
“He’s a leader and he will help a lot regardless of [playing time]. He is committed to the club. I will say it again: I am delighted to have him here. I never wanted him to leave.”
Xavi would have liked Aubameyang to stay, too, but understood why the former Arsenal striker, who was relegated to a backup role at Barca following the signing of Lewandowski, wanted to return to the Premier League with Chelsea.
Aubameyang, 33, only joined Barca in January and left for Stamford Bridge in a €12m deal after scoring 13 goals in 23 appearances.
“I am sad to see him leave,” the Barca boss said. “He gave us a lot in a short time here. He made the difference in games, he posted some extraordinary numbers, he’s a great person, always smiling, training well.
“But it was an opportunity, above all for him, but also for the club. Everyone was happy with the deal but I am sad to lose a player like him.”
Barca are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Sevilla in LaLiga (Stream LIVE, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+). Xavi’s side have seven points from three games so far, while Sevilla have drawn one and lost two of their opening three fixtures.