Xavi asks Barcelona to sign unknown star who outscored Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Xavi instructing Bounedjah during their time together at Al Sadd

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Barca’s interest in the 29-year-old is outlined by Sport, with Xavi’s final seasons of his playing career being played alongside the Algerian international striker.

Bounedjah has scored 159 goals in total for the Qatari club in just 155 appearances, where he won 10 trophies in total including three league titles.

The striker has also been prolific on the international stage with Algeria, with whom he has scored 22 goals in 46 caps, but has never played for a European club.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has confirmed that ‘Xavi likes the player a lot’ and opened the door for a stunning move to the Camp Nou.

Bounedjah scored more goals than any other player in world football in 2018

Belmadi told reporters, in quotes carried by TSA Algerie : “Baghdad is doing extraordinary things.

“Baghdad in Barcelona, what do you want me to tell you?

“Xavi knows better than me; maybe he thinks Baghdad is the first or second choice.

“It can be a surprise for others and not for him since he knows him.

“He knows how to compare with the squad there is at the moment in Barcelona.

“God only knows, that would be an extraordinary thing.

“He made history, he scored goals everywhere.

Xavi Hernandez was appointed Barcelona boss earlier this month
(Image: Getty Images)

“He scored the goal of the Afcon final, one of the most important goals in the history of Algerian football.

“We do not recognise his quality precisely because he plays in Qatar, whereas, in Qatar, there are players who cannot do it.

“The current Barca is not the Barcelona of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta.

“In our timing, I don't know if Xavi has in mind to bring him back to Barcelona, but I know he likes him a lot.

“I know he could bring any centre forward back to Al-Sadd, they have unlimited resources, but it wasn't even a dream.

“Out of all the foreigners they have, number 1 is still Baghdad. Xavi appreciates the player, he played with him, he knows his qualities and he knows how to compare with the players with whom he has evolved."

Sergio Aguero is currently ruled out for at least three months due to a heart issue – and might not be able to play again for the club – which has heightened their need to sign a new striker.