BARCELONA

Xavi tells Barcelona no for now

Xavi will not take over Barcelona mid-season, but both parties have agreed to keep the communication channels open with the possibility that he will come on board for next season.

Xavi tells Barcelona no for now
Kai Pfaffenbach REUTERS

The short-lived Xavi Hernández soap opera has come to an end. The current coach of Al Sadd will not replace Ernesto Valverde mid-season as Barcelona had wanted.

In his last meeting with Barcelona's representatives this Sunday morning, Xavi argued that such a move would have been “very hasty”. Furthermore, he did not want to cause an uncomfortable situation for Valverde.

Xavi wanted to postpone his decision a few more days, but Barcelona’s representatives insisted he give them an answer before they flew back to the Catalan capital this Sunday. As such, the Blaugrana legend gave a resounding “no”. Although both parties have agreed to keep the communication channels open, with the possibility that he will come on board for next season.

Xavi shows his commitment to Barcelona

Now, Barcelona’s general director, Óscar Grau, and sporting director, Eric Abidal, return to the Catalan capital with their tails firmly between their legs -- without the coveted contract with Xavi and with nothing to offer to the board of directors on Monday in terms of possible alternatives for Valverde.

Meanwhile, Xavi has shown (as Carles Puyol did a few months ago) that his commitment to Barcelona is so great that he is not willing to come in to cover patches – his goal is to arrive at the club when it has a consolidated and solid project across all levels, from the academy to the first team.

Right now, and as he clarified in Saturday's press conference after beating Al Rayyan in the semi-finals of the Qatar Cup, the Al Sadd coach is focused on Friday’s final against Al Duhail.