Barcelona legend Xavi has tipped Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez for a move to the Camp Nou.
In an interview with Al Araby Al Jadeed, picked up by Sky Sports, Barcelona’s all-time leading appearance maker admitted that he had not heard of the Algerian before the start of this season.
But he has been very impressed with Mahrez’s immeasurable contribution to Leicester’s title charge, and feels that the 25-year-old winger is good enough to play for the European champions.
“He is a very good player,” Xavi told Al Araby Al Jadeed, via Sky Sports. “He suddenly came to my attention this season, I didn’t know about him before, but this season he has blown up.
“He has made a name for himself among the top names in the English league and played exceptionally well. Thanks to what he has done for his club, he can now play for any big club in Europe.
Asked if Mahrez could play for Barcelona one day, Xavi replied: “Yeah, why not? He could play for Barcelona in the future. He is talented, but that is not in my hands these days!”
Mahrez has scored 16 goals and supplied 11 assists for Leicester in the Premier League this season to help send them five points clear at the top, and has been linked with a move to Barcelona by The Sun.
He could not have received a seal of approval from a more qualified man. Xavi played for Barcelona between 1998 and 2005, winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies.
The Spanish World Cup winner was a graduate of the club’s academy. He captained Barca in his final season, after the retirement of Carles Puyol, before joining Qatari club Al Sadd last year.
Man City & Manchester United saving up for major €190m transfer raid for Barcelona superstar
Johan Cruyff: A timeline reliving the key moments that made Barcelona legend a true icon
Barcelona star names toughest-ever opponents; Messi overlooked, but Real Madrid hero & Drogba make the cut