Yet Barcelona fans will have to wait a bit longer to welcome Xavi back home, as the 40-year-old has signed on to coach Al-Sadd for the 2020-21 season. The former midfielder told the club’s website he is happy to stay at the club.
“I am happy that the squad is complete today after the return of the remaining first team players, in preparation for this upcoming period and the resumption of the league championship. I am happy to continue with Al-Sadd, and the team’s goal will always be to compete for all titles.”
Xavi took charge of Al-Sadd in 2019 in what is his first managerial role. He has won the Qatari Super Cup and the Qatar Cup during his brief time in charge of the club.
Setien Under Pressure at Barcelona
Current Barcelona manager Quique Setien is under pressure after just five months in the Camp Nou hotseat after seeing his side knocked off the top of the table in Spain. The Catalan giants restarted the competition two points clear of Real Madrid but have slipped four points behind their bitter rivals.
The 61-year-old has also been forced to deny he has lost the dressing room amid reports of disagreements between players and his coaching staff after a string of poor results.
To cap things off captain Lionel Messi is also contemplating leaving the club. The Argentine is frustrated and angry for getting the blame for Barca’s problems and is considering departing at the end of next season, according to Manu Carreno at Cadena SER.
Xavi to Arrive in 2021?
Xavi turned down the manager’s role in January before Setien was hired but has hinted he could be tempted to return in 2021 after the club’s next presidential elections.
“I’m a club man. I would like to return at the right moment to start a project from zero. I’ve said it a lot of times but I want to take footballing decisions at Barcelona.
“It’s clear that after the elections the stage would be set, of course. I’m not ruling anything out. They came for me in January, we were speaking. I told them the circumstances and timing weren’t right.”
Presidential candidate Victor Font has already made it clear he wants Xavi to be part of his plans if elected, while the former midfielder’s recent comments suggest he has no interest in returning to Barca under the current board.
Xavi’s decision to renew means Barcelona may decide to keep faith with Setien for next season even if they do finish the campaign empty-handed. The club could then turn to Xavi in 2021 after the elections have been completed and his contract with Al-Sadd ends.