Al Sadd striker Baghdad Bounedjah has emerged as a shock transfer target for Barcelona following Xavi’s appointment as manager.
It was confirmed last week that the legendary midfielder would finally be returning to the Camp Nou as new manager.
The 41-year-old is interested in bolstering his squad in January and Barcelona are looking light up front.
Sergio Aguero is currently out of action until 2022 with a heart rhythm disorder while Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite are injured, as is Ansu Fati.
Goal have claimed Bounedjah has been linked with a shock move after being a key player under Xavi in Qatar.
The Algeria international has scored 11 goals in nine games this season and helped Al Sadd win the Stars League title last campaign.
Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi believes Bounedjah has all the tools to succeed in Catalonia.
“Baghdad is doing extraordinary things. Baghdad in Barcelona, what do you want me to tell you? Xavi knows better than I… maybe he thinks Baghdad is the first or second choice,” he told TSA Algerie.
“It can be a surprise for others and not for him since he knows him. He knows how to compare with the squad there is at the moment in Barcelona.
“God only knows, that would be an extraordinary thing.
“He made history, he scored goals everywhere…He scored the goal of the Afcon final, one of the most important goals in the history of Algerian football. We do not recognise his quality precisely because he plays in Qatar, whereas, in Qatar, there are players who cannot do it.”
He continued: “The current Barca is not the Barcelona of [Lionel] Messi, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta. In our timing, I don’t know if Xavi has in mind to bring him back to Barcelona, but I know he likes him a lot.
“I know he could bring any centre forward back to Al-Sadd, they have unlimited resources, but it wasn’t even a dream.
“Out of all the foreigners they have, number 1 is still Baghdad. Xavi appreciates the player, he played with him, he knows his qualities and he knows how to compare with the players with whom he has evolved.”
Barcelona currently sit ninth in La Liga and threw away a 3-0 lead against Celta Vigo to draw 3-3 on Saturday.
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