The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Manchester City is exploring the possibility of bringing Barcelona midfielder maestro Xavi Hernandez to New York City FC, the British club’s MLS franchise, which begins play next year. By that time, Xavi will be 35 with one year remaining on his Barca contract. It is understood that Man City director Txiki Begiristain and CEO Ferran Soriano are working on a possible free transfer for the Spain international, who is thought to earn about 7 million pounds ($11.5 million) per year after tax.
City is reportedly investing more than 300 million pounds ($492 million) into New York City FC, which will have the biggest budget in MLS. Begiristain noted that they want the club to have a philosophy similar to Barcelona in Spain and City in England. “We have a philosophy that we want to play, that we like and the people like, and after that, we sign the coach,” Begiristain said, referring to the manner in which he and Soriano chose former Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis to be the new club’s manager. “These are broad concepts, but very strong,” Soriano added: “We would never choose a manager, whether it is Manuel Pellegrini in Manchester or Jason here, that would not believe in those pillars. On those pillars, he can build whatever he wants.”
Kreis, meanwhile, said he expects NYCFC to use all three of its Designated Player slots. “I’m quite certain that New York City FC will sign three designated players, he said. "I’m also quite certain that those players will be extremely well vetted, researched, talked to in order to make sure they’re not only the right player for this team but the right person.” He added: “We have the ability to go out and find new players for this league, new creative, attacking-type players that fit in to the City way of playing. I think we have a singular opportunity and almost a responsibility to go out and find new players to bring in to bolster the league a little bit.”