?Qatari side Al Sadd has rubbished the suggestion in Spain that they’ve received an offer for Barcelona legend Xavi Hernández to succeed Ernesto Valverde as the manager at the Camp Nou.
It had been rumoured by AS that Xavi was offered a two-and-a-half year contract in Barcelona’s search to replace an under-fire Valverde.
While Xavi’s move to Barcelona looks inevitable at some point during his coaching career, Al Sadd general manager Turki Al-Ali has stressed that La Liga’s reigning champions have not made an official bit to appoint him as Valverde’s successor.
“The issue of Xavi going to Barcelona is normal and expected,” Al-Ali said, quoted by the BBC. “It’s his first home and he must return there in the future, but as of today, Xavi is the coach of Al Sadd.
“Xavi and his team are focusing on tomorrow’s match against Al-Rayyan (in the Qatari Cup). We know that a club with the size and professionalism of Barcelona will take to official channels to speak of such matters.”
Barcelona have sent sporting director Eric Abidal and CEO Òscar Grau to Qatar for business, but they actually travelled to check up on Ousmane Dembélé’s recovery.
Abidal and Grau did make a flying visit to discuss Xavi’s future plans, but it appears unlikely that the former Spain international will be given a heroes welcome when he returns to Barcelona in the near future, despite ?some reports suggesting he is on standby for Valverde’s exit.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu still backs Valverde to turn things around in Catalonia – a sentiment shared by Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.
Xavi isn’t the only club legend who is being considered to become Barcelona’s next manager either, as long-term target Ronald Koeman could still be an option for them after the European Championships in the summer.
Thierry Henry, who has recently joined MLS side Montreal Impact, is also on the club’s shortlist.
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