11th January, 2020
Like many close followers of Barcelona Football Club, I saw this coming. Especially after the latest debacle in which the Spanish giants surrendered a 2-1 lead in the match against Atletico Madrid with just some eight minutes to go and went on to “successfully” lose by 2-3.
The fate of Valverde as the Barcelona gaffer was surely decided by that result after a series of recent unconvincing performances by a team well known for clinically finishing their matches.
Barcelona have reportedly offered Xavi a two-and-a-half-year contract to replace Ernesto Valverde as manager of the club.
Speculation that Xavi could be on his way home has been increasing all day, and the latest reports suggest the club legend has a decision to make over his future.
Marca report that Barca want Xavi to take over from Valverde immediately. They reckon the club had already planned to offer him the job for the next two seasons, but their desire to bring him in has increased following defeat to Atletico Madrid.
El Mundo are also reporting that Barca have made Xavi an offer. They claim the former midfielder can take over now or at the end of the season after the Catalan giants ran out of patience with Valverde.
The report of a meeting between Xavi and sporting director Eric Abidal and CE Oscar Grau initially came from RAC1 on Friday. AS say they have also confirmed the meeting went ahead and that Xavi was offered a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Xavi’s club Al Sadd have responded to the speculation with a statement that ends in rather intriguing fasion: “We know that a club with the size and professionalism of Barcelona will take to official channels to speak of such matters.”
At 39, the Barça legend said his goodbyes to the club after lifting the treble in the 2014/15 season. A World Cup winner with Spain and a key member of one of the greatest sides ever to play, Xavi has won eight LaLiga titles, three Copas del Rey, six Spanish Super Cups, four Champions Leagues, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups. After finishing his brief playing career at Al Sadd, he began his managerial work with the club, with the Barça bench clearly in his future sights.
Other names that have been strongly linked with the job have been Ronald Koeman, Roberto Martínez and Thierry Henry. Barcelona’s stance to date has been that Valverde will see out this season.