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The X Factor

I will never play in the Premier League, Xavi insists

The Barcelona midfielder is a one-club man, he says..

BARCELONA MIDFIELDER Xavi insists he will never move to the Premier League due his strong affinity for the Catalan giants.

The 34-year-old has often been linked with a move to England’s top flight, with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all reported to have expressed an interest.

Xavi has had a trophy-laden career at Camp Nou, with seven La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League victories among his haul of silverware. The Spain international concedes there are times he would have “loved” to have played in England, but he could not entertain the thought of playing for another team.

“There was always talk United or Chelsea or City and Arsenal wanted to sign me but never anything concrete,” Xavi told The Sun. “My thinking was always clear. I am such a Barcelona fan, so my first, second and third option is always Barca.

“I never thought of leaving like Cesc Fabregas, who went to Arsenal. I want to be here forever. If I am not at Barcelona, I will always be thinking of Barca. If I had played for City, United, Arsenal or Chelsea, I’d keep asking what is going on at Barca — my club.

“All the big English clubs know getting Xavi is impossible. They know Xavi is a fan of Barcelona, he won’t come.

“I’ve no regrets at all, but I still think at times that I would have loved to play in England. You ‘live’ football over there.

“People respect you more. It’s more difficult to find respect in Spain. There is more criticism here. In England, a player who’s won many things is more respected than in Spain.

“It’s not happened because my dream, my feeling and my idea was to be at Barcelona. Forever.”

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