Transfer news: Manchester City target Barcelona star Xavi - but for their New York franchise

Manchester club want Spanish midfielder for the 2015 launch of their MLS franchise

Manchester City are reportedly keen to lure Barcelona's Xavi to Major League Soccer when they launch their New York City franchise in 2015.

By the time the new MLS side is launched, the Spanish star will be 35, with a year remaining on his contract, perfectly placed to become the franchise's marquee signing.

While in the past Xavi has always spoken of a desire to finish his illustrious playing career at the Nou Camp, last week he suggested that it could end elsewhere by saying:  “Being tied to Barcelona is a privilege, but I don’t know what will happen in the future.”

That comment prompted speculation that New York Red Bulls might be trying to snap up the Spaniard, using former team mate Thierry Henry to convince him.

However now it is understood that Manchester City are interested in beating their soon-to-be city rivals to the signature of Xavi as they look to launch their MLS club with a bang.

Both Man City's chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain know Xavi from their time at Barcelona and reportedly see him as the perfect man to launch the franchise they have invested more than £300m into.

However both Begiristain and Soriano have insisted that New York City manager Jason Kreis will choose which players he signs, providing they fit the club's style.

“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. “ After that, he is free.”

Soriano said: “These are broad concepts, but very strong. 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.”

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