Xavi said to have snubbed immediate Barcelona move as he takes Al Sadd training
Xavi has resisted the chance to join Barcelona immediately in favour of staying with Qatari club Al Sadd, reports said on Sunday.
Speculation is rife over the future of head coach Ernesto Valverde at Camp Nou, after back-to-back LaLiga champions Barca were defeated 3-2 by Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semi-finals on Thursday.
Valverde’s position has been in doubt since a collapse in the Champions League semi-finals against Liverpool and a defeat to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final the end of last season.
Spanish media widely reported on Friday that Barcelona chief executive Oscar Grau and technical secretary Eric Abidal had travelled to Doha to meet with Xavi.
The purpose of the trip was said to be to offer Xavi the chance to replace Valverde in the coming days, rather than wait until the end of the season.
However, Xavi is reported to have rejected Barcelona’s offer, with Spanish sports daily Marca saying he will wait until June of this year or June 2021 to take over at Camp Nou.
Al Sadd confirmed their coach oversaw training ahead of the Qatar Cup final aginst Al-Duhail on January 17.
Head coach Xavi Hernandez supervised the first team training session on Sunday morning. The team will take a break on Monday before resuming preparations for the #QatarCup2020 final against Al-Duhail#AlSaddpic.twitter.com/dsCpqwld0V
— AlSadd S.C | نادي السد (@AlsaddSC) January 12, 2020
Xavi acknowledged he met with Barcelona officials but refused to go into detail over the meeting due to his respect for Valverde.
“Coaching Barca is my dream, I cannot hide that, everyone knows I support them from the bottom of my heart,” Xavi told reporters on Saturday.
“Yes, Abidal is my friend. I’ve met him many times, so I cannot say anything, just that I respect Barcelona, I respect Valverde, I respect the players, I respect my club.
“They [Barca] were here to talk to me and we discussed many things. I cannot say anything else. Sorry, but I cannot inform you too much. I met Abidal, he is my friend, that’s it.
“I’m doing my job here, I’m doing my best. I was focused on the semi-final and now we play the final so I’m very happy. I’m very happy to coach Al Sadd and I am focused on my team.”