Xavi addresses Adama Traore future amid exit talk

Coach Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona, Adama Traore of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Europa League match between FC Barcelona v Napoli at the Camp Nou on February 17, 2022 in Barcelona Spain.

Barcelona boss Xavi has said that the club have not yet made a decision on Adama Traore's future.

The 26-year-old returned to Camp Nou on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers in January, and he has made 16 appearances for the Catalan outfit during his second spell, providing four assists in the process.

Barcelona have the option to re-sign Traore on a permanent basis this summer, but a recent report claimed that the Spain international was losing his battle to convince the club to bring him back on a long-term basis.

The Catalan outfit will allegedly have to pay £29m to sign him, which is a significant figure considering the club's debts and ongoing financial problems.

When questioned on the forward's future, Xavi said that a final decision on the Spaniard would be made once the club "know the situation of the team".

"We will make a decision as soon as we know the situation of the team. It is true that he played well when he came, but he is competing with Ferran [Torres] and [Ousmane] Dembele," Xavi told reporters. "When Adama was in better form than Dembele, he was playing. We make our choices based on every match."

Traore has not started in La Liga since the end of February, while he has played just 16 minutes of their last three league games, having dropped down the pecking order over the last few weeks.

Dembele has been back in favour in recent weeks, while Memphis Depay has scored twice in his last three league appearances, having been reintroduced back into the side.

Traore's current deal with Wolves is due to expire next summer, and he is expected to be sold in the upcoming market even if Barcelona pass up the chance to bring him back on a permanent basis. 

"We'd love Adama Traore to stay here, it's possible - but we're in a difficult financial situation. We'll see at the end of the season," Barcelona president Joan Laporta told reporters earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Traore said upon his return in January: "I have been away for seven years, I will do all I can to make the Barcelona fans happy with me. I am happy to be back home and I hope to demonstrate my talents on Sunday.

"I have changed physically, I have gained experience but I have never lost that Barcelona essence. If the Adama today is the same as yesterday, that is a lost day. Getting better every day is really important to me.

"Sometimes you have to take a different path to reach the first team. I am really happy, excited and ready to help the in every way. Going back to the Camp Nou will be very special. I am coming back home."

Traore previously represented Blaugrana between 2004 and 2015, but he only made four first-team appearances during his first spell at the club, scoring once, before joining Aston Villa, while he also represented Middlesbrough ahead of a switch to Wolves.

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