Villarreal midfielder Alex Baena has admitted his desire to play for Barcelona, urging Xavi to trigger his release clause and get a deal done.

22-year-old Baena has enjoyed an excellent campaign with Villarreal and currently leads La Liga in assists, having created 12 goals to go along with two goals of his own.

Baena’s form has caught the eye of Barcelona and, when asked about his interest in moving to Camp Nou, the Spain international did not shy away from admitting he hopes to get the chance to join Xavi’s side.

“Who wouldn’t like to go to Barca?: he told Cadena SER. “Playing for Barcelona is one of the biggest dreams.

“It is one of the best clubs in the world. Any player in the world would like to play for Barcelona. But I am in the club of my life and I’m also happy to be here. Nothing has happened to me or those around me. We are focused on finishing the season well.

“I think that [the release clause] should be discussed with Fernando Roig, but the €60m will have to be paid if they want me to leave.”

Alex BaenaAlex Baena

Baena leads La Liga in assists / Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

A €60m spend will be incredibly tough for Barcelona, whose current focus is on raising enough money to reach La Liga’s 1:1 threshold, which would allow them to spend €1 for every €1 they bring in this summer.

“We are all united, everything is agreed upon with Deco, the president, the sports commission and staff,” Xavi said of Barcelona’s transfer plans. “Hopefully we can reach the 1:1 regulation, it would help us a lot, but there are days left. We still have objectives this season.

“The trust that Deco and the president have generated, they are very optimistic. Last season we were conditioned not to do the total planning but we hope to do it this year.”

Barcelona have also been linked with big-money moves for Amadou Onana and La Masia graduate Dani Olmo, while Frenkie de Jong, Ronald Araujo and teenage wonderkid Lamine Yamal have been touted for expensive transfers away.

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