Depay backed to 'make a difference' for Barcelona as Xavi rules out January business

By Sports Desk January 03, 2023

Xavi has backed Memphis Depay to "make a difference" for Barcelona in the second half of the season after ruling out a January departure for the Netherlands international.

Limited to just three appearances this term, Depay's future has attracted speculation in the mid-season transfer window with fresh reports the club need to offload players to meet LaLiga's financial rules.

A return to Manchester United has been touted for the 28-year-old, who are in the hunt for attacking reinforcements, but Xavi expects Barcelona to complete no business this month.

"We are who we are, and we are happy. The players want to win and they show me that in every training. I'm so happy with what I have," he told a press conference.

"I don't want anyone to leave. I'm delighted with the squad. It seems that there will be no market for us.

"I'm happy with Depay. His attitude is good and will be important to us. He has the ability to make a difference. He will have minutes, just like everyone else."

After returning to LaLiga action following the World Cup break with a 1-1 draw in the Catalan derby against Espanyol, Barcelona face an entirely different challenge in the Copa del Rey against Intercity – a side they have never faced before.

However, the third-tier side boast eight players who have spent time with Barcelona during their careers and Xavi is aware that it serves as motivation for their opponents.

"When you play against your former team, you get very motivated. They have eight players who have passed through this house and for sure they are very motivated," he added.

Depay has been named among the 22-man travelling squad to face Intercity, with notable absentees including Robert Lewandowski and Pedri.

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