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A LEGEND TO RETURN? Xavi set to leave Qatar to become Barcelona's new manager

A LEGEND TO RETURN? Xavi set to leave Qatar to become Barcelona's new manager

The current Al-Sadd manager has recently been linked with a move back to Barcelona to become the club’s new manager.

The Qatari side has released a statement confirming the interest for their manager from the Spanish side, describing it as “normal”. Al-Sadd, where the 39-year-old is currently the manager, released the following statement in response to the reports through their general manager Turki Al-Ali, per Sport:

"The possibility that Xavi goes to Barcelona at any moment is normal, and we hope that he returns in the future because it was his club and his first home. But as of today, Xavi is the coach of Al-Sadd club.

"Xavi is focused on (Saturday's) game and any negotiation over his departure will be through the official channels".

A LEGEND TO RETURN? Xavi set to leave Qatar to become Barcelonas new manager

According to Juan Jimenez of AS, Barcelona chief executive Oscar Grau and sporting director Eric Abidal met Xavi in Doha on Friday. In the piece, it's suggested the meeting "was to sound out the ex-Blaugrana star on potentially taking over from Valverde next season".

If Xavi Hernandez was to be given the job, it would be a popular appointment among the Barcelona supporters, as he is considered to be one of the greatest players in the club's history.

Xavi came to Asian football at the dawn of his career, joining Al-Sadd in 2015. He participated in 82 matches, registered 21 goals. Upon his ultimate retirement in 2019, he was immediately appointed as the manager of Al-Sadd on a two-year contract. Going through half of the domestic season, Xavi and his players are currently standing in third place. At the continental level, he took Al-Sadd all the way to the AFC Champions League semi-finals, where they unfortunately lost to Al-Hilal 6-5 on aggregate.

With only half a year of his managerial career, the rumour is considered to be doubtful, but still plausible. The current Barcelona manager – Ernesto Valverde – has been very insecure in his hot seat after chains of drastic results. Barca is still dominant domestically, but in the UEFA Champions League, they were eliminated in some of the most embarrassing fashions in the two last campaigns, against Roma and Liverpool. Recently they have been eliminated in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final by Diego Simeone side. The fans have spoken themselves. They want Valverde and his brand of football under his tenure to be over.

A LEGEND TO RETURN? Xavi set to leave Qatar to become Barcelonas new manager

Inexperience might be an obstacle if Xavi is appointed, but he will certainly be given much support from the fans – who dubbed him as one of the undeniable legends at the club – and the players – led by former teammate, striking partner Lionel Messi.

A LEGEND TO RETURN? Xavi set to leave Qatar to become Barcelonas new manager