Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said club legend Xavi will return to the Camp Nou and take charge of the team “sooner or later.”
The midfielder has made it clear it’s his “dream” to manage the Catalan giants, and Bartomeu told TV3 that he is confident it will happen at some point in the future.
However, the 57-year-old also insisted that the club are happy with current boss Quique Setien and not looking for a replacement at present.
“Xavi will be Barca’s coach, sooner or later. But right now we are not looking for a coach, we are with Quique.
“Quique Setien will coach the team in the Champions League and these last two Liga games that are left. We have had a very atypical season, we will play in August and he will be the coach. If we overcome Napoli, we will be in Lisbon.
“Our will is to fulfil contracts and Setien has one. We went to Setien’s house to speak about the future, the plans for next season. He will probably be there and I am very interested to hear what he thinks.”
Setien only arrived at Barcelona in January as a replacement for Ernesto Valverde but has already come under pressure after seeing his team knocked off the top of the table by fierce rivals Real Madrid. He is contracted to the club until the end of June 2022.
Xavi Already Working on Barca Return
Xavi is currently in his first managerial role at Qatari side Al-Sadd and recently signed a new one-year contract extension with the club.
However, he also admitted recently, in an interview with Sport’s Didac Peyret, that he is already making plans with his staff regarding a future move back to Barcelona.
“The biggest hope I have now is to be Barca coach and get Barca back to winning ways. Not me but these players and Barca triumphing. And as a consequence, our technical staff, who are preparing for it a lot and it makes us really excited.
“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.”
Barcelona are due to hold presidential elections in the summer of 2021. Bartomeu can not run again as he has already served two terms with the Catalan giants.
Xavi to Arrive in 2021?
Presidential candidate Victor Font will run for office and has told Ole that current coach Setien is not in his plans for the future and that he is a big admirer of Xavi.
“He [Setien] is the current Barca coach so for that reason alone he deserves all our respect and support. For me personally he’s a coach I’ve always liked but it’s true too that he’s not the coach we’re backing for the future.
“Xavi perfectly fits the profile of a player from here, formed in the youth academy, and knows and defends the style we defend ourselves. In the case of having the honor to be in charge, he will be the center around which the whole football project will pivot in the coming years.”
Xavi’s recent comments and decision to sign only a one-year contract extension at Al-Sadd mean that he will be available next year if Barcelona do decide the time is right to bring him back.
Setien will continue at the club for now but will face more pressure if he ends the season empty-handed. Barcelona are second in La Liga with two games left and face a tough draw in the Champions League.
The Catalan giants still have to get past Napoli in the last-16 and are then likely to face a Bayern Munich side that has already won the double in Germany this season.