FC Barcelona may be mired in financial problems, but they are not slowing down their pursuit of players ahead of the summer transfer window. It has become clear that the Catalan club is still struggling to manage the cash flow, which has seen them targeting the top soon-to-be free agents on the market.

Xavi has made strengthening his back line a priority ahead of next season, and work is already underway to bring in his preferred targets. The Spanish manager is looking to bring in two centre-backs along with a right back and a left-back.

According to Spanish news outlet Sport, the Catalan giants are close to completing their second signing of the summer. The first arrival is being touted as Andreas Christensen from Chelsea, and the second is Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui. Both players are out of contract in June and have rejected new offers from their current employers.

Mazraoui was subject to interest from a number of other clubs, but the Morocco international has chosen the Camp Nou as his next home. Talks between Barcelona and the full back's representatives began in 2021, but progressed in recent weeks after they made a formal offer to his agent Mino Raiola, who has close relations with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Joan Laporta
Barcelona president Joan Laporta said the club's debts were "abominable" Pau BARRENA/AFP

The La Liga giants were made to wait as Mazraoui considered other offers on the table. The likes of Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund had made contact, but have now lost out after the Morrocan chose Barcelona as his next club when he leaves Ajax in the summer.

Xavi was initially prioritising a deal for Chelsea right sided defender Cesar Azpilicueta, who is also in the final months of his contract with the Blues. However, the Premier League club are said to have an option to extend his deal by a further year which they are expected to exercise, making it an issue for the Catalan capital club.

Mazraoui, 24, is expected to sign a three or four year deal with Barcelona. The 24-year-old is highly rated, and Ajax were keen to retain his services, but the player's desire to take the next step in his career trumped their offer of a new deal.

Newly-appointed Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez (right) alongside club president Joan Laporta at Camp Nou on Monday. LLUIS GENE/AFP