Manchester City hope to persuade Xavi Hernandez to join their fledging MLS franchise, New York City FC.
The franchise will not begin playing in MLS until 2015 and City are hopeful of bringing Xavi to the club as its star player, the Daily Telegraph has claimed.
Xavi will be 35 by that point and with only a year remaining on his current Barcelona contract. He has been at Camp Nou for his entire career but recently suggested he may move elsewhere before he retires.
It was claimed that Xavi’s former Barca teammate Thierry Henry was trying to get the midfielder to join New York Red Bulls.
But City are hopeful of using their connections with Barca to sign the playmaker, having already invested more than €360m on the project already.
Former Barca executives Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano now hold prominent positions at the Etihad Stadium and it is thought Barca would grant Xavi a free transfer if he decided to leave.
Xavi would be one of the club’s three designated players – players whose salary does not count towards the salary cap – and would be used to attract the Barcelona fans in New York to the new venture.
With City also keen to emulate the Barca style of play, Xavi would help to that end as well. Manager Jason Kreis and sporting director Claudio Reyna will decide the players signed but have been told they must fit within the style of play City desire.