Football News

Barcelona news: Xavi confirms offer to replace Ernesto Valverde

By Steve Jennings

Published: 14:00, 16 January 2020

Xavi Hernandez has confirmed he turned down an approach from Barcelona to become his former club’s new manager earlier this month.

Barcelona announced the departure of Ernesto Valverde and the appointment of former Real Betis boss Quique Setién this week.

After losing to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup, the strained relations between Valverde and Barcelona came to a head and reports emerged suggesting the Spaniard was facing the axe.

During that period of uncertainty, there was talk that Barcelona had approached club legend Xavi – who is currently in charge of Qatari side Al Sadd – to replace Valverde.

And Xavi has now confirmed rumours that he rejected the opportunity to return to the Camp Nou.

“Yes, I received an offer from Barcelona in the presence of Eric Abidal and Oscar Grau, but I didn’t accept it,” Xavi said.

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“It’s too soon to coach Barcelona, but it will continue to be my dream to be Barcelona coach in the future.”

Xavi spent the vast majority of his career with Barcelona having come through the club’s famous academy, La Masia.

The 39-year-old won eight La Liga titles and lifted the Champions League trophy four times before moving to Al Sadd as a player in 2015. He became the club’s manager in May last year.

A World Cup winner with Spain, Xavi is expected to return to Barcelona one day – but clearly he feels now is not the time.