Premier League

Xavi never considered Barca exit

Xavi in action during Barcelona's home defeat to Valencia.
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Xavi insists he has never thought of leaving Barcelona despite being linked with Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in the past.

Xavi has spent his entire career at the Nou Camp and recently made his 700th first-team appearance for Barcelona.

The 34-year-old midfielder has been linked with a move to England many times but, despite admitting a love of the Premier League, he insists he could only play for Barca.

"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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