Transfer news: Barcelona midfielder Xavi questions Real Madrid pursuit of Gareth Bale and admits 'I haven't seen him play a full match'

Spanish international has his say on the Bale transfer saga and also suggests that Cesc Fabregas will be staying at the Nou Camp

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The Independent Football

Barcelona midfielder Xavi has questioned whether Real Madrid should be willing to spend a reported €100m (£87m) to land Tottenham ace Gareth Bale, having admitted that he has rarely seen him play.

The Bale transfer saga has been the story of the summer, with an offer from Real set to break the transfer record set in 2009 when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo for around £82m.

But the Spanish maestro has expressed his uncertainty over whether Barcelona’s bitter rivals are right to be chasing Bale for such a large fee, and claimed he did not know what Bale is worth having barely seen him play.

"I don't know what Bale is worth. Honestly, I haven't seen him play a full match," said Xavi.

The Spaniard also spoke on his current team-mate Cesc Fabregas’ future amid speculation that Manchester United will make a third bid to try and land the midfielder.

Both Xavi and Fabregas reported back for Barcelona duty on Monday after an extended break following the participation in the Confederations Cup for Spain, who finished as runners-up to hosts Brazil.

"I think he is relaxed,” said Xavi. “He has a contract here and the story is just based on assumptions. He is working with the group and is in perfect shape, I think he is very motivated. We will see what happens but I think he is relaxed and ready for the coming season with Barcelona."

The vice-captain of the La Liga champions admitted that the resignation of former coach Tito Vilanova has a big impact on the squad, following his relapse in his battle with throat cancer.

But Xavi now insists that they are behind new manager Gerardo Martino, who is set to take control of his first game for the club on Friday against Brazilian side Santos.

"The situation with Tito is one of the saddest things to have ever happened to this club,” expressed Xavi. “It was a real blow for us but we have to move on. We are excited about working with Martino and we will try to adapt to his ways as quickly as we can.

"Our first impressions of him have been very good. He has a winning mentality, and despite our sadness at what has happened with Tito, things are going well for us right now.

"Martino is working on improving our pressing in attack. He wants us to recover the dynamism which we lost last season. We are hungry to continue making history, and we have a coach that shares that winning spirit."

And Xavi finished with a few words on new recruit Neymar, who made his first appearance in a Barcelona shirt last night in a pre-season friendly against Lechia Gdansk.

"Neymar is destined to do great things," he said.

"He has the ability to make something out of nothing and a great capacity to score goals. With him, Leo (Messi) and everyone else we have in the team, I'm certain we'll improve on an individual level."