MANCHESTER UNITED and Liverpool have been dealt a transfer blow after Barcelona wonderkid Gavi signed a new long-term contract.
The midfielder, 18, has impressed since breaking into the team last season and is now a key player for Xavi, starting five out of five LaLiga games this term.
United and Liverpool had been tracking the youngster for some time and they were keen to take advantage of his £42million release clause.
But both clubs have missed that chance after Gavi put pen to paper on a four-year deal.
The new contract also increases Gavi’s buyout clause to €1billion (£864m) – the joint-highest in world football.
Chelsea also had an eye on the Spaniard when Roman Abramovich was still in charge – as the former owner was a big fan of Gavi.
Manchester City also wanted Gavi earlier in the summer but will likely end their interest given his new release clause.
Barcelona have been keen to give their stars eye-watering buyout clauses after losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain after the French side activated his £200m clause in 2017.
In fact, four Barca players now have a release clause of €1bn, matched only by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
Gavi is very highly rated by club and country with Xavi describing him as a “transcendent” player.
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Spain manager Luis Enrique said of Xavi: “He’s like an erupting volcano.
“It’s very difficult not to fall in love with Gavi. Any fan wants to see him play.”