?Al Sadd manager Xavi is understood to have rejected the chance to replace Ernesto Valverde as Barcelona manager this month, but he remains keen to take the job in the summer.
With Valverde’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, Xavi is seen as one of the top candidates to take over, and it was reported that Barcelona had even ?offered him a contract which would have seen him replace Valverde immediately.
However, according to ?Marca, Xavi has rejected that offer and does not want to join up with the club midway through the season, but he would certainly be interested in returning to Camp Nou in the summer.
Given ?Barcelona’s desire to recruit Xavi in January, it seems almost certain that they will grant him his wish of a summer return to the club.
Barcelona do have the option to extend Valverde’s contract by an extra year, but they are not keen on doing so and president Josep Maria Bartomeu is practically alone in his desire to stick with the former Athletic Club boss.
?Sport add that Valverde feels hugely disappointed by Barcelona’s lack of communication with him in recent days. He has learned of their interest in replacing him with Xavi through media reports and is yet to hear anything from club officials.
Bartomeu plans to meet with Valverde in the coming days, but Valverde feels as though he deserves to have been spoken to earlier, given it seemed entirely possible that he could have been out of a job if Xavi had accepted a January move.
With Xavi rejecting La Blaugrana, Valverde’s job is not thought to be under immediate threat, but all the signs suggest that his contract with the club will not be extended beyond the current year.
For the time being, Valverde is set to take training on Monday to begin preparations for Sunday’s visit of Granada, when Barcelona will look to maintain their lead at the top of ?La Liga.
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