• Xavi has replaced Koeman as Barcelona's head coach
  • His first game as in-charge will be Barca's home league game against Espanyol
  • He is prioritizing Dembele's contract extension

FC Barcelona have reportedly set a budget of less than $11 million for new head coach Xavi Hernandez for the upcoming January transfer window.

Barcelona are experiencing a major financial crisis and their gross debt has reached $1.6 billion. The costs involved in firing Ronaldo Koeman and hiring Xavi, though, will not have a major effect on the spending moving forward, sources told ESPN. However, International Business Times could not verify it independently.

Ahead of the winter market, quite a few players have been linked with a move to Barcelona since Xavi's arrival at Camp Nou, who are looking to strengthen their squad. The list includes stars such as Raheem Sterling, Dani Olmo, Timo Werner, Ferran Torres, Riyad Mahrez and Saul Niguez. However, none of the players are expected to come for cheap.

Meanwhile, Xavi is in no rush to make a signing in the 2022 January market and has asked Barcelona's recruitment team to put any potential transfers on hold, for the time being, reported Spanish publication Diario AS. The former Al-Sadd manager wants time to assess his players at Barcelona and then evaluate his squad over the coming weeks as players return from international duty and injury.

In addition to that, Xavi, who is a product of Barcelona's academy La Masia, also wants to test several players from the club's youth academy. Youngsters such as Ilias Akhomach, Arnau Comas, Mika Marmol, Alvaro Sanz, Ez Abde, Ferran Jutgla and Antonio Aranda were trained with the first team earlier this week.

On figuring out the needs and shortcomings of his staff, Xavi will speak to Mateu Alemany, Joan Laporta and Jordi Cruyff about possible reinforcements, the Diario AS report further claimed.

At present, as many as 11 stars from Barcelona are injured, including Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Eric Garcia and Gerrard Pique. After 12 matches into the 2021-22 La Liga, Barcelona are placed ninth in the table, marking their worst-ever start to a season in Spain.

It was earlier reported that Xavi is prioritizing Dembele's contract extension as the Frenchman has less than a year left on his current deal with the Catalans.

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

After the underway international break, Xavi will make his Barcelona debut as their head coach when the Camp Nou side hosts Espanyol on Nov. 20.