Xavi prefers heat of Qatar to hotseat of Barca

January 13 – FC Barcelona’s search for a new manager to succeed Ernesto Valverde continues after Xavi turned down his former club. 

The Catalan giants had approached their legendary midfield metronome, who won eight Spanish league titles and four Champions Leagues during his 17-year career at Nou Camp, but Xavi, coach of Al Sadd, said the timing is not right.

It is a public secret that the Spanish club wants to part ways with its current coach Ernesto Valverde. Last week, Barcelona failed to reach the final of the revamped Spanish Super Cup after a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Atlético Madrid in Jeddah. Valverde’s team tops La Liga and progressed to the knockout phase of the Champions League, but the coach no longer enjoys the support of the club hierarchy. His popularity among fans has also dipped.

Barcelona’s sporting director and former player Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau sounded Xavi who took on the Al Sadd role in Qatar last summer but whose future at the club was already under speculation after the Qatari champions disappointed at the Club World Cup in December.

Xavi has previously said that coaching Barcelona would be a dream. Another front runner for the FC Barcelona job – Ronald Koeman – may also have snubbed his dream club. Koeman is coaching the Netherlands and wants to lead an exciting Dutch generation at the European Championship this summer.

He was in pole position to take over after Euro 2020, but that position may now have changed. Last winter Valverde’s contract was extended until the end of this season with an option for another.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1596529099labto1596529099ofdlr1596529099owedi1596529099sni@o1596529099fni1596529099