After two days of speculations about his possible move to Barcelona, club legend Xavi Hernandez has reportedly decided to turn down the opportunity in immediate future. The former Spain midfielder, who lifted 25 trophies in a 17-year career with Barca, is currently the head coach of Qatari outfit Al Sadd, but has made no secret of his desire to return to Barcelona in a similar capacity.
On Sunday, Xavi confirmed that he had spoken to Barca’s sporting director Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau over the weekend. Though he did not divulge details of the meeting, the 39-year-old reiterated his desire to take charge of his former club one day.
“I cannot say anything, they were here to talk to me and we discussed many things. Sorry I cannot give any more information,” Xavi told a news conference after his side beat Al Rayyan on Saturday to reach the final of the Prince’s Cup.
“I cannot hide it’s my dream to coach Barcelona, I’ve said it many times in many interviews, everyone knows I support Barcelona from the bottom of my heart."
However, the latest developments suggest that Xavi has put the plan on hold, at least for a season. As per ESPN reports, Al Sadd manager told Abidal and Grau on Sunday that the former midfielder was open to the possibility of joining the club next season but not right now. Reports further suggest that Xavi wants to fulfill his contract with the Qatari club, which runs until June, but will continue talking to the Spanish champions.
The development, though, is not likely to make Ernesto Valverde's life easier. According to club sources, it is "not an easy" situation to solve and that things are looking "complicated" for Valverde, although nothing is definitive yet.
Barcelona played a 2-2 draw against LaLiga's bottom club Espanyol and lost to Atletico Madrid in Spanish Supercup.
Club president Josep Bartomeu said the board will now discuss other possible solutions after Xavi's refusal to join the club in near future.
Barcelona next play Granada in LaLiga at Camp Nou on 20 January. They currently sit top of LaLiga, level on points with Real Madrid, and are safely through to the Champions League Round of 16, where they will meet Napoli.
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Updated Date: Jan 13, 2020 11:29:00 IST