Neymar's camp have since denied the reports, but Xavi was insistent speaking with Movistar.
He stated: "With Neymar, it was a very natural conversation. He said he was leaving. This surprised me, I asked him what was happening. He said it was time to leave and that was his decision, it had to be respected.
"It's a loss at the football level. We are talking about a player between the 3 or 5 best players and with a future to become the best player in the world. But Barça have always survived the departure of the players who made the difference."