Barcelona icon Xavi Hernandez will reportedly take over as manager at the Camp Nou this summer after the club’s record appearance-maker is said to have rejected an offer to take over in January.
Goal’s Ignasi Oliva Gispert wrote Xavi, 39, was given the chance to leave current club Al Sadd immediately, but he wished to respect Barca boss Ernesto Valverde despite recent criticism directed at the incumbent.
Al Sadd face Al Duhail in the 2020 Qatar Cup final on Friday, and Xavi recently told reporters he was focused on that fixture, albeit also reiterating it’s been his dream to coach the Blaugrana.
Valverde, 55, came under increased scrutiny after his side lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid in their Spanish Supercopa semi-final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday.
Previous failures include disappointments in the last two Champions League knockout stages, falling to Liverpool and Roma—in 2018 and 2019, respectively—despite building three-goal leads over each.
The Blaugrana have won back-to-back Spanish league titles under Valverde, who it seems could be in a struggle to salvage his future in Catalonia.
Xavi made 769 appearances for Barca before leaving in 2015 for Al Sadd, where he grew into a player-coach role for four seasons before retiring as a player to take over as manager in May 2019.
Barcelona sit level on 40 points at the top of La Liga with rivals Real Madrid, who hope to regain dominance approaching the one-year anniversary of Zinedine Zidane’s reappointment at the helm.