Barcelona close in on appointing Xavi
The Catalan giants are on the verge of appointing a club legend as the permanent successor to Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona are closing in on appointing Xavi as their new head coach after sending club executives to Qatar to finalise a deal, Goal can confirm. Xavi, who is currently in charge at Al Sadd, was initially offered the top job at Camp Nou following Ronald Koeman's sacking on October 27. Sergi Barjuan has taken interim charge of the squad while Barca work on the appointment of a club legend, and a final agreement now appears to be imminent.
What's the situation?
JJA Sport Studio has learned that Blaugrana vice-president Rafa Yuste and director of football Mateu Alemany travelled to Doha following the team's 1-0 Champions League win over Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday night. The Barca chiefs will sit down for talks with Al Sadd officials to discuss their intention to appoint Xavi, with a two-and-a-half-year deal now awaiting the 41-year-old at Camp Nou. Should negotiations progress as expected, Xavi could be unveiled at Barca by next week, with Barjuan's final game in the dugout likely to come against Celta Vigo on Saturday.
What has Laporta said?
Barca president Joan Laporta gave a clear indication that Xavi is the club's number one candidate to succeed Koeman when speaking at a press conference last week. "My opinion of Xavi as a coach is that he is fine, he is in an interesting process," he told reporters. "I have very good references, I speak with him very often and I know his opinion about the team, but they are confidential conversations between friends. "We appreciate each other and my opinion of him is very good. I have always said that one day he would coach Barca. I trust the people around me. We will see how everything evolves."
Xavi's stature at Barca & coaching record
Xavi is widely regarded as one of the finest players to ever grace the Camp Nou pitch, after appearing in 767 games across 24 years with Barca. The Spaniard helped the Blaugrana win multiple La Liga and Champions League titles amid a whole host of other honours before seeing out his playing days at Al Sadd between 2015 and 2019. He has since been building experience in his first managerial role with the Qatar-based club, who have won seven trophies under his stewardship and are unbeaten in their last 35 league matches.
Latest FC Barcelona news
Latest news on JJA Sport Studio
Journalist at JJA Sport Studio
Covering athletics and cycling
Latest from Bridget Mason
- Manchester City Women vs Arsenal Women : Tobin Heath's late equaliser rescues point for Arsenal at Manchester City
- Chelsea vs Tottenham: Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva on target as Chelsea see off Spurs again
- Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Virgil Van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain secure nervy win as Reds keep Man City in their sights
- Southampton vs Man City: Saints ends league leaders 12-game winning run in spicy draw
- Man Utd vs West Ham: Marcus Rashford strikes late to send Ralf Rangnick's side fourth