It seems almost certain that Xavi will return to Barcelona and manage the club at some point in the future, but the club legend has explained why now is not the right time.
Xavi told Icon magazine that there are too many off-field distractions at present and says Barcelona have not been in touch since he turned down the chance to replace Ernesto Valverde as manager back in January.
“There’s a lot of external noise around the club, a lot of issues off the pitch and I don’t think now is the right time. In January I told them it wasn’t the right time and they haven’t contacted me since.
“As a culé I wish them the best. I respect Quique Setién a lot, he has a game manual very similar to what Barça needs, which is Cruyffismo, another thing is that the results must go with it.
“I’m delighted to continue to gain experience and challenge myself and of course it’ll be a privilege for me to one day coach Barca, with a dream team, with Jordi Cruyff, Carles Puyol and some current players.”
Xavi is currently manager of Qatari side Al-Sadd and signed a new contract in July to coach the club for the 2020-21 season.
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Xavi Tells Barca to Renew Messi
The former Barcelona midfielder also urged the Catalan giants to hand captain Lionel Messi a new contract and secure his future. The Argentine’s current deal expires at the end of next season.
A report in Spain has claimed Messi could walk away from the club when his deal runs out, but Xavi feels there’s no doubt Barca should do all they can to make the 33-year-old happy at the Camp Nou.
“He has earned it, he should have an automatic clause. Messi needs Barca and Barca need Messi. They have to make him happy, because a happy Messi will win more trophies.
“I maintain a great friendship with him, I respect him a lot. He is a competitive animal, he always wants to win, and for ten years he has been the best footballer in the world. Hopefully we can meet again on a professional level. Having the best player in history on your team is having an ace to win.”
“He has done what Pele, Cruyff, Maradona and Ronaldo all did but over a period of 15 years and in the modern era. He is at an incredible level physically, tactically and technically and continues to be the best player in every game.”
Messi is currently preparing for Barcelona’s crucial Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich. The two teams meet in a one-off game in Portugal on Friday with the winner set to face either Manchester City or Lyon.