Manchester City are exploring the possibility of making Barcelona star Xavi the marquee signing for the club’s Major League Soccer franchise in the United States. New York City will not play in the MLS until 2015, by which time Xavi will be aged 35 and will have one year remaining on his Barcelona contract. Having spent his entire career at Barca, Xavi has spoken of retiring at the Nou Camp but last week suggested that he could see out his playing days elsewhere by saying: “Being tied to Barcelona is a privilege, but I don’t know what will happen in the future.” That sparked speculation in Spain and America that former Barcelona striker Thierry Henry is trying to entice Xavi to join him at New York Red Bulls. However, it is understood that Manchester City chiefs are showing strong interest in Xavi, as they formulate plans over how their New York club can make the biggest possible impact in the MLS. City director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano both know Xavi well from their days at Barcelona, and see the Spaniard as the perfect face of their new team. Xavi is thought to earn a salary of around £7 million after tax and he would most likely be granted a free transfer by Barcelona next year if he expressed a desire to move to America.