Xavi was unable to travel to the United States with Barcelona on Saturday as red tape prevented the Spanish coach making the trip.

Widespread reports in Spain said the 42-year-old had been refused the right to enter the US alongside his players because of previous visits to Iran.

Xavi visited the country on AFC Champions League duty during his time with Qatari club Al Sadd, and Mundo Deportivo reported he was not immediately given permission to enter the US as a result.

The United States and Iran have no formal diplomatic relations, and those who have been to Iran may not be immediately eligible to travel to America.

Xavi is expected to be granted permission to travel early next week, reports said.

Barcelona confirmed their 28-player squad left El Prat airport at 14:30 local time on Saturday (13:30 BST), heading for Miami.

They are due to return on July 31 after pre-season games against Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls.

Officials including club president Joan Laporta also made the trip, but Barcelona said in a statement: "Coach Xavi Hernandez will not be taking today's flight for administrative reasons associated to his passport reasons.

"He is expected to join the rest of the squad in Miami in the next few days."

Manchester United target Frenkie de Jong was named in Barcelona's squad for their pre-season tour of the United States as Xavi's players prepared to depart on Saturday.

New signings Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Raphinha were also included by head coach Xavi, whose side will play four matches as they step up preparations for the LaLiga campaign.

The Blaugrana will play Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus and New York Red Bulls on their jaunt to America, where De Jong is also set to feature despite question marks over his future.

United and Barcelona reportedly agreed a deal worth £63million (€75million) for the Netherlands international earlier this week, with a further £8.5million (€10million) in add-ons.

However, the midfielder, who would link up with former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, is widely reported to be eager to remain at Camp Nou.

Despite a busy transfer window, Barcelona are reportedly unable to register their signings as they contend with financial fair play regulations, and it had been suggested the LaLiga club must cash in on assets to ease those issues.

President Joan Laporta appeared to reject that theory on Friday when he insisted the club do not need to sell De Jong.

Erik ten Hag has demanded focus and motivation from Anthony Martial as the striker looks to ensure his Manchester United future.

Martial's United career seemed to be ebbing to a disappointing conclusion when he was loaned out to Sevilla in January.

The France international hardly set the world alight in Andalusia, either, scoring just once across 12 games in all competitions.

He has returned to United ahead of the 2022-23 campaign and has so far looked sharp in pre-season, netting in a 4-0 win over Liverpool on Tuesday and in Friday's 4-1 victory over Melbourne Victory.

Ten Hag is confident there is more to come from the 26-year-old, who he says must be fully committed to getting the best out of himself.

The Dutchman told reporters in Australia: "I'm sure he can come back even better.

"I think when he has the right focus and the right motivation and he works hard he will have production because he is a good player.

"I say when he has the right focus and every day delivers his maximum then he will have production and it's up to him."

Depending on Cristiano Ronaldo's future, Martial is likely to compete with Marcus Rashford for a place on the left of United's attack under Ten Hag, who has been impressed with the link-up he has seen between Jadon Sancho, right-back Diogo Dalot and playmaker Bruno Fernandes on the opposite flank.

"From the right side I was quite satisfied and we create a lot off the right side, four or five really good chances, we turned around the game, that was the really good thing, we don't come down, we react and we deal with the setback," said Ten Hag, whose team fell behind on Friday before going on to win comfortably.

"Sure, Sancho [performed well], but I think the whole right side played really well because there's a good connection between Jadon Sancho and Diogo and Bruno [Fernandes]."

Jurgen Klopp has conceded Diogo Jota will likely miss the Community Shield final for Liverpool, while Alisson "should be fit" to face Manchester City.

Jota sat out of the pre-season opener in Bangkok on Tuesday, a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United, before Alisson joined the forward on the injury list ahead of the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Friday.

Klopp had previously suggested he was concerned by a recurrence of Jota's hamstring issues, the forward having initially aggravated the problem he suffered when away with Portugal on international duty in June.

After victory over Palace in Singapore, where Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson were on target, Klopp provided an update on the injured duo.

"Ali, I think, has the chance for City and Diogo not," Reds manager Klopp told reporters as he discussed the upcoming Community Shield on July 30.

"Ali, he feels a muscle, abdominal. It's nothing serious but, again, we prepare a full season. So he can train but just not like before, so he should not play in the moment. Not normal goalie training but he has a pre-season, so he doesn't lose time. 

"But yeah, these kind of things happen. The boys have to travel a lot and train and you never know exactly. 

"It's only little things, nothing serious but we have to be careful because the rest of the season is much longer than the start."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was another to limp off in the pre-season clash with Patrick Vieira's side, and Klopp hopes the "top-class" England international will soon recover from a muscle injury setback.

"Of course, it's very disappointing for us because Oxlade trained all the time really well since the pre-season started," he added.

"It happened obviously with Ox in the past when it gets more intense and something can happen. Now this is just a muscle thing and that's OK. We had worse situations, so I'm OK with it. 

"I don't know exactly how long it will take but he will be back and then it's all fine. He is obviously a top-class player and he can help us."

As injury fears mount, Klopp's attention turned to the upcoming Qatar World Cup, with July effectively serving as the first pre-season before unselected players will have to keep fitness across November and December.

Klopp, a regular critic of the Nations League and international football schedule, labelled this pre-season as like no other as he lamented the lack of concern for player welfare.

"Normally our pre-season is always the basis for the rest of the season, this time we have the first part of the season that's interrupted," he continued. 

"We are already kind of used to it because with the pandemic we had breaks and starting again.

"So it's not completely new to us anymore and when these players have time off, for example, if they are not at the World Cup, they never have real time off, they have a training schedule to fulfil so they don't lose a lot in these periods, which is very important for us.

"That's why we can give them at least as long as possible time off with family and holiday and stuff like this, but they just need it.

"Apart from that, the World Cup is for all top teams in football pretty much the same, especially in England it's the same because we play immediately.

"If you are in the final or the third-place [game] then you play again a week later - and then you play 26th, 31st, 2nd and stuff like this.

"Obviously the guys in the Premier League like the spectacular. I've said it often enough, nobody really cares about the players in these moments but that's how it is."

Antonio Conte heaped praise on the versatility and quality of Tottenham signing Richarlison after his first appearance for the Premier League side.

Spurs are in South Korea to start their pre-season, where they defeated a select XI from the K-League 6-3 on Wednesday.

Conte has already made five new additions to his side for the upcoming campaign, though Richarlison was the only one of those to feature at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

The Brazil international played 77 minutes before his removal, with attacking partners Harry Kane and home favourite Son Heung-min stealing the show with two goals each.

Richarlison, who scored (10) and assisted (five) more Premier League goals than any other Everton player in the 2021-22 season, operated across the front three in his first showing.

Dejan Kulusevski, Bryan Gil and Lucas Moura are all competing with Richarlison for the final spot in attack for Conte, who hailed numerous features of his new arrival's debut.

"Today I have seen a lot of positive things about Richy," Conte told reporters.

"In the first half he played as a number nine and in the second half he played on the right and in behind the striker. He can play in all three positions.

"I think he is strong physically and a good personality, good character, good quality. For Richy he is working and we are working on the tactical aspects with him because he has to go into our idea.

"At the same time we have to work on the physical aspects for him to be fit. But for sure he is a player that gives me important positions up front.

"He's a player that is a good player, strong and very good to protect the ball and attack the space. I'm very happy that we signed him."

Fellow arrivals Yves Bissouma and back-up goalkeeper Fraser Forster missed the pre-season opener due to COVID-19, while Clement Lenglet has not travelled and Ivan Perisic is yet to be fit enough.

Conte assures former Inter star Perisic will soon be available, though, and explained regular starters Kulusevski and Ben Davies were absent as they build-up their fitness.

"For Ben it was the second training session and he needed to recover and run and do the same training as the players did in the last two days. It was the same for Kulusevski," the Italian added.

"We had a problem with COVID, with Bissouma and Fraser because the test was positive. For this reason they weren't here with us. Yes, [they are isolating].

"Perisic is working very well. He's very close. I think tomorrow he could have a part of the training session with us.

"Honestly we are satisfied because his recovery is going very fast and we are happy about this and when we come back in London he will start to have some of the training session with us."

Tottenham face Sevilla at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Saturday before clashing with Rangers and Roma ahead of their Premier League opener at home to Southampton on August 6.

Erik ten Hag was impressed by Manchester United's "great spirit" after they kicked off their pre-season tour with a 4-0 win over Liverpool.

The Red Devils recorded a comfortable victory against an understrength Reds side in Bangkok thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri, while Tyrell Malacia made his bow for the club.

Jurgen Klopp's Champions League finalists utilised a much-rotated team throughout the friendly encounter, while United started with close to a full-strength XI, resulting in something of a lopsided result.

But Ten Hag, who succeed interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of last season, still had positives to take from the fixture ahead of his side flying out to Australia to continue their preparations for the new term.

"Of course we are satisfied today, because I think they were a team with a great spirit," he told MUTV. "We know we have just started.

"We made some mistakes in pressing, we conceded some chances, but also we created a lot. Our team played bravely. We are happy with the first game.

"I know we have good players. Now we have to make a [good] team. [It will] take a lot of time.

"Liverpool were not at their strongest, so we will not overestimate this, but still, I have seen some really good things. We have potential."

Ten Hag's men next travel to Victoria to face Melbourne Victory – who could deploy former United winger Nani – on July 15, before tests against fellow Premier League duo Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

Victor Lindelof insists he is unbothered by Manchester United's critics as the Red Devils prepare for a new era under the demanding Erik ten Hag.

United endured another tough season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then interim manager Ralf Rangnick last time out, finishing sixth after recording their lowest points tally in a Premier League season.

The Red Devils also failed to end a league campaign with a positive goal difference for the first time since the 1989-90 season (-1).

Ten Hag has been tasked with transforming United after moving to Old Trafford from Ajax, where he secured a third Eredivisie title in four full seasons at the helm after the 2021-22 term.

Lindelof has spent early July training under his new boss in Manchester before heading to Thailand, where United face Liverpool in a pre-season friendly in Bangkok on Tuesday.

While the Sweden international is keen to ignore doubters from outside the club, Lindelof admitted he and his team-mates are doing their utmost to make a noticeable first impression on Ten Hag.

"When you play at this club there are always going to be people who talk," he told ESPN.

"We want to play at a high level and play well and win games, but I don't think the players care really.

"For me, the pressure I put on myself – I am the most critical person of myself. I don't really care what other people say, and I think the rest of the guys are the same.

"Of course, we didn't perform the way we wanted to, but last season is in the past.

"I think everyone is trying to look ahead and everyone is excited to work with the new manager and learn his style of play. I don't think we want to look back, we want to look forward and try to perform better."

United are also due to face Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in pre-season, with the latter being Ten Hag's first game at Old Trafford on July 31.

The friendlies will represent a chance to gain much-needed match practice for the upcoming season, though Lindelof was quick to praise the training sessions Ten Hag has run ahead of the pre-season warm-ups.

"The training sessions have really stepped up," he added. "On day one he was explaining what he wants us to do. He's very good at paying attention to the details and that's the biggest change.

"He has changed a lot. He has his style of play and he wants to implement those things. We've been talking a lot and practising a lot of different things. It's been very, very good so far.

"I wouldn't say there's a list of rules but he demands a lot from us, on the pitch but also off the pitch. We are all professionals so it's not a problem.

"He's coming in and he wants us to play in a certain way so of course he has to communicate it to the players. If something is not right or if something is not the way he wants it he will explain it again and try to show what he wants."

Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been active in the transfer window already, but United have only brought in left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord.

That may come as somewhat as a surprise, given Rangnick suggested up to 10 players were needed and Ten Hag was expected to rebuild, but the lack of activity does not concern Lindelof.

"I'm not really focused on other teams and what they're doing in the transfer market," he continued. "I don't read things. I just try to focus on myself and my team, that's the most important thing.

"[Liverpool and Man City] have been performing well but I have great belief in the players that we have and I think we can perform at a very, very high level. If we do things right and we work hard we can compete.

"We represent this amazing club and we want to compete for trophies. The aim for every footballer is to win so it's always what we're looking to do."

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool will head into the 2022-23 season "as confident as possible" about the prospect of challenging on all fronts once again.

Liverpool fell short of an unprecedented quadruple last season, faltering in both the Champions League final and on the last day of the Premier League season after lifting the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

Liverpool relied on penalties in both of their cup successes as they failed to score in five and a half hours of football in major finals last season, which led to concerns over their ruthlessness in front of goal.

Darwin Nunez has since arrived at Anfield from Benfica in a deal reportedly worth £64million (€75m), with a further £21.4m in potential add-ons, in a move that Klopp will hope provides greater reliability in attack.

Star forward Mohamed Salah has also penned a contract extension and, despite Sadio Mane leaving for Bayern Munich, Klopp remains convinced Liverpool can compete with Manchester City once more.

"As confident as possible. You never know obviously but I saw today on the plane a squad full of quality," he told reporters at Sunday's news conference in Thailand, where Liverpool are on a pre-season tour. 

"You always need a little bit of luck, how we all know, if you want to win a trophy. But to play a good season you need first and foremost consistency, that's what it's all about and that's what we will try.

"I have no doubt about the quality of the boys. We brought in new players – yes, we lost a few players – but we brought in new players; if you want, fresh blood, really helpful.

"There are no places already sorted, who will play where. The boys will make pressure, which is important.

"We have five subs from now on in the Premier League as well – we have to get used to that, we have to adapt to that. I'm really looking forward to it.

"There are no guarantees in football but there's a good chance that we play another good season, I would say."

Liverpool face fierce rivals Manchester United in Bangkok on Tuesday in what will be Erik ten Hag's first game in charge of the Red Devils.

The Reds hammered United by an aggregate scoreline of 9-0 in the Premier League last season, and Klopp insists there will be no such thing as a friendly between the two teams.

"Manchester United, a new manager, trained a little bit longer than us so might be, I'm not sure, in a better situation in the moment," he added.

"But we see it as an important test because it's against United and we don't play friendlies, obviously both teams don't play friendlies against each other, so we will see what we can do.

"We never prepare for one match, we prepare for a full season. That means the boys who started Monday last week had a proper start so far, we could train in the way we wanted.

"We had now a full week already and we are now here to play two games in Asia, first this one and then in Singapore against Crystal Palace. So, we have to see.

"We have to train and we have to play, it means the games are actually like a session as well but the boys have to go really hard.

"Let's see where we stand in this specific moment and then we can go home to England and then we go from there to Austria for another camp."

Raphael Varane is excited by the prospect of Manchester United making a "new start" under Erik ten Hag, with the 2018 World Cup winner hoping to enjoy a more successful second season at Old Trafford.

Four-time European champion Varane left Real Madrid to join United last August, but he endured a frustrating campaign as the Red Devils struggled to a sixth-placed finish after replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Ralf Rangnick.

Varane made 29 appearances in all competitions during his first season with United, only contributing to six clean sheets as the side finished with their lowest Premier League points tally yet (58).

But the appointment of former Ajax coach Ten Hag has raised hopes United can improve next term, and Varane has spoken of the squad's eagerness to work with the Dutchman.

"It's a new season, it's a new start, so everyone is excited to know about the new manager," he told the club's media channels.

"Obviously, we want to do well and win every game so, for this, we'll have to prepare for the new season, and I think it’s important for us to train hard and be ready."

United will open their 2022-23 Premier League campaign at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on August 7, but they will first embark on a pre-season tour of Asia and Australia.

United's first outing under Ten Hag will see them meet old rivals Liverpool in Thailand on July 12, and Varane says the team's pre-season work will prove crucial if they are to hit the ground running next term.

"We want to be ready for the new season," he continued. "We need to work very hard and there will be a lot of training sessions and a lot of games, so I think it will be interesting and a great moment to work very hard and to prepare for the season.

"I think it’s a different atmosphere, it's pre-season, so we have to get fit, we have to prepare.

"I think it's always exciting to play in front of our fans around the world, it's a good experience for us, and it's a good moment to prepare for the season."

Jose Mourinho will return to Camp Nou in August to face Barcelona with his Roma side in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

The Gamper acts as the curtain-raiser for Barcelona's season, with the Blaugrana taking on Juventus in last year's edition, which was the first to involve both the men's and women's teams.

Barcelona announced on Wednesday that Roma are the chosen opposition for this year's version, with the games set to take place on August 6.

Mourinho will head back to the Camp Nou, where he was Louis van Gaal's assistant for three seasons until 2000, on the back of lifting the Europa Conference League with Roma.

The Portuguese coach is a largely unpopular figure among Blaugrana supporters after managing fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Mourinho guided Madrid to a LaLiga title, Copa del Rey crown and the Supercopa de Espana in his three seasons with Los Blancos.

It will not be the first appearance for Roma in the Gamper either, after the Serie A side were beaten 3-0 by Barcelona in the 2015 edition.

Erik ten Hag will face Rayo Vallecano in his first home game in charge of Manchester United.

United start their pre-season campaign with a clash against Liverpool in Thailand on July 12, before heading to Australia for friendlies with Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

The Red Devils will then head to Oslo as Ten Hag faces Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid on July 30.

United return to Manchester to cap off their pre-season schedule with a friendly against LaLiga side Vallecano at Old Trafford.

That will be Ten Hag's first game at the Theatre of Dreams and United's football director John Murtough hopes the fans will give him a warm welcome.

"Pre-season is all about preparation and this is a great opportunity for those squad members who may not have featured in some of our earlier tour and pre-season matches to get valuable minutes on the pitch – and where better to do this than Old Trafford?," he said, as quoted by United's official website.

"This will be the new manager's first match at Old Trafford, and I am sure the fans will provide him with a warm welcome."

Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United will face off in a pre-season friendly in Bangkok.

The game will be played at the Rajamangala Stadium on July 12, where Jurgen Klopp's men will battle the Red Devils for the Bangkok Century Cup.

It is the only pre-season fixture confirmed by Liverpool so far, but United announced they will also play Melbourne Victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 15, before facing more familiar opposition again in Crystal Palace at the same venue four days later.

The last time Liverpool and United played in a friendly was in 2018 and saw the Reds win 4-1 in front of more than 100,000 fans in Michigan as part of the International Champions Cup.

United will be hoping to have a new permanent manager installed by the time pre-season begins, with Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino among the favourites for the role, and the Liverpool fixture could be the first game for whomever is appointed.

Ibrahima Konate was left lost for words after making his first Anfield appearance for Liverpool in Monday's pre-season win over Osasuna.

The centre-back, signed for a fee in the region of £36million (€42.5m) from RB Leipzig, started the 3-1 friendly victory and played 80 minutes in front of a crowd of around 40,000.

The 22-year-old now cannot wait to experience a competitive game on Merseyside, with the Reds' first home game of the 2021-22 season coming against Burnley on August 21.

"To be honest, I don't have the words to explain my feelings when I put my first foot on the pitch," he told Liverpool's website. "It's amazing and I'm very happy to have my first game at Anfield with fans.

"Today was amazing. I cannot imagine the stadium in the Premier League or Champions League."

Liverpool were comfortable winners against the LaLiga side, Roberto Firmino scoring twice after Takumi Minamino broke the deadlock with a deflected strike.

Jurgen Klopp's men are looking in good form ahead of their season opener away to Norwich City on Saturday.

"I think we did a very good game together and this is the most important [thing]. I am happy about my performance," said Konate.

"It was the last friendly game, the last game of the pre-season – now the Premier League will start [on] Saturday and I am very excited for this moment.

"We were together for four weeks [in pre-season]; it was a little bit hard because we were in the hotel, but it was very good because we had a very good atmosphere with the team.

"Now I hope we are ready for the Premier League and the season."

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has confirmed he suffered ankle ligament damage in the 1-1 pre-season friendly draw with Athletic Bilbao.

The Scotland international limped off after attempting to block a cross and was replaced at half-time by Owen Beck.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said further tests were required to determine the level of damage, casting doubt on Robertson's availability for Liverpool's opening game of the Premier League season away to Norwich City on August 14.

Ahead of Monday's friendly with Osasuna, the Reds' final warm-up game before the 2021-22 season, Robertson said via Twitter that he expected to be sidelined for a time.

"Thanks to everyone for the kind messages and support," he wrote. "Scan suggests nothing too major but there's some ligament damage which will need to mend.

"I will be grafting every day so I can help the team again sooner rather than later. Good luck to the boys playing tonight."

Sergio Busquets insists Barcelona are "looking to compete on all fronts" despite club legend Lionel Messi departing.

Messi was expected to sign a new contract but financial complications at Barca left the forward no option but to leave, with Busquets now assuming the captaincy role.

Prior to Sunday's Joan Gamper Trophy clash, the 33-year-old took the opportunity to reassure the Blaugrana faithful who were rocked by the news of Messi's departure on Thursday, with the Argentina international set to join Paris Saint-Germain.

"We'll do it with you [the fans]," Busquets said at the Estadi Johan Cruyff. "We need you more than ever. We need your help, your support, and we're sure you'll give it to us."

Busquets, who led the tackles and interceptions charts at Barca last term while also completing the second most passes, joins an illustrious group of players to have captained the Catalan club.

Carles Puyol, Xavi and Messi all came before the midfielder and Busquets acknowledged he must now "meet the standards" set by those club legends in a role which he is "very proud" to take.

Having made his debut four years after the Argentina captain, the Spain midfielder was also quick to pay tribute to his former team-mate, with whom he enjoyed a 14-year spell with.

"I want to give a special mention to Leo," Busquets continued. "Thank you, Leo, for taking Barca to the very pinnacle; for making history while being the best player in the world, and for beating all the individual and collective records [imaginable].

"We will always be very grateful for everything you have done. We will miss you and we wish you all the best."

While Messi, who netted 672 times in 778 appearances for the Spanish giants, edges closer to joining PSG, Barca begin their LaLiga campaign against Real Sociedad on August 15 as they begin the post-Messi era.

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