Barcelona midfielder Nico completes Valencia loan move

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Barcelona midfielder Nico Gonzalez has completed a season-long loan move to LaLiga rivals Valencia.

The 20-year-old broke into Barca's first team last season, scoring two goals and providing as many assists in 37 appearances.

With Franck Kessie among the Blaugrana's new signings and Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva reportedly a target, Nico informed Xavi he wanted to move on in order to be given more playing time.

Valencia on Saturday confirmed Nico, who has also signed a new deal with Barca until 2026, will spend the 2022-23 campaign at the Mestalla Stadium.

Barca's head coach Xavi on Friday stated that he had mixed feelings over Nico's temporary switch.

He said: "[Nico] came to me three weeks ago. I insisted that he continue because he would have minutes. I like Nico.

"But a few days ago he came back and told me that there was a team where he would play. He has been brave and is going to Valencia.

"I hope he comes back more mature because it must be important for the future of Barca. For the midfield we have [Sergio] Busquets, [Miralem] Pjanic, Kessie, Frenkie [de Jong], Sergi Roberto, and even [Andreas] Christensen, who can play there."

Valencia start their season at home to newly promoted Girona on Sunday, while Barca face Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.