Xavi makes Barcelona play the waiting game as Valverde exit looms large
As the pressure mounts on FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, the favourite to replace him on the bench at the Camp Nou has ruled himself out, for now.
Former midfield legend and current Al Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez has been heavily linked with a return to Catalonia following Barca’s Supercup defeat to Atletico Madrid last week, but latest reports suggest that if the Blaugrana want to secure his services, they will have to wait until the end of the season.
According to the London Evening Standard, Barca CEO Oscar Grau and Sporting Director Eric Abidal, met the 39-year-old in Qatar on Friday. This was also confirmed by Al Sadd representatives ahead of their Qatari cup match with Al Rayyan the following day. Xavi himself was keen to distance himself from the speculation out of respect for Valverde but has already admitted that it has always been his ambition to return to the Camp Nou as boss following a trophy laden career as a player there.
Valverde has been keen to state that he has no intention of resigning and is understood to be upset by the rumours that he is now surplus to requirements. Barcelona returns to Liga action this weekend with a home game against Granada with the smart money still on this to be Valverde’s swansong.