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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Xavi agent confident of new deal

Barcelona have approached Xavi Hernandez with a view to tying the midfielder to the Catalan club for the rest of his career, according to the player's agent Ivan Corretja.

• Blog: Xavi is simply irreplaceable

Xavi, 32, is currently under contract at Barca until 2014, with an option in his current terms to renew for two more seasons. Corretja told Catalan TV station Esport3 that he expected to begin talks on an improved deal soon.

"The club let us know last Friday of their intention to renew the contract because they want Xavi to continue with them," Corretja said. "We appreciate their move and expect that things will start to develop. As his contract ends in 2014, and he is an important member of the squad, it is usual to begin to talk now because next June would be too late."

A graduate of Barcelona's renowned La Masia youth academy, Xavi has made over 600 first team appearances since making his debut in 1998. Corretja said he did not expect negotiations on a new deal to be too tricky.

"We have always reached an agreement in the past," he said. "I am sure it will be like that this time. For the player it is very important to know that the club remains confident in him. I do not think there will be any problems."

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