Xavi, 34, in fact almost signed for NYCFC in the summer, revealing to MARCA that he “had his bags packed” for a move before Barca manager Luis Enrique persuaded him to remain at the Nou Camp for at least another season.
The Spanish midfielder has since seen his role in the side reduced over the course of this term, however, and Cadena Ser reported earlier this month that a stateside switch could be back on at the end of the campaign after the two sides met for talks.
While noting that his old colleague would prefer to remain with the Catalan giants for now, Villa still hopes that Xavi will make the move to New York in the future, telling the Spanish radio station: “About Xavi? I have spoken a lot to him, I hope he comes here with me, but for now he prefers to stay at Barcelona.”
NYCFC director of football Claudio Reyna also admitted to Mundo Derportivo last month that the club had been in the conversation for Xavi in recent months but now doesn’t expect a move to happen until the 2016 season.
“We aren’t closing the doors in the face of Xavi for next season,” he said. “It’s true that we have tried to sign him before, but next year we will need new Designated Players and that door remains open for him.”
Villa, meanwhile, has made a successful start to his NYCFC career, scoring the expansion side’s first home goal in the weekend’s historic opener at Yankee Stadium against the New England Revolution, before setting up substitute Patrick Mullins to seal a 2-0 win.
The World Cup-winning striker added how much he’s loving life in the US so far but stressed that he didn’t just make the move from Atletico Madrid for a final career swan sang.
"I'm living a great moment, I'm very happy,” he said. “This new reality is really impressing me, especially off the pitch: I didn't expect so many people at the stadium.
“It's difficult to find some space for football in New York but what is happening these days is incredible. The day I want to retire I will do so, but I didn't come here to retire.
“How am I getting acclimated here? I didn't expect to do so well with English.”