Barcelona executives met with club legend Xavi to see if the 39-year-old has interest in replacing Ernesto Valverde as manager, sources told ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.
Barcelona consider Xavi a serious option, the sources added, and could call upon the former midfielder as soon as this year.
Ronald Koeman, who’s currently coaching the Netherlands, is believed to be another candidate for the job. Koeman confirmed in October he has a clause in his contract that allows him to join Barcelona in the summer.
Despite leading Barcelona to back-to-back La Liga titles, Valverde is expected to leave the club at the end of this season, when his contract is set to expire. He’s faced criticism from fans and media for his pragmatic approach and an overreliance on Lionel Messi.
Although the Blaugrana lost to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday, Valverde’s job is apparently safe for the time being.
Xavi is still in the infancy of his own coaching career. He took over Qatari side Al Sadd in 2019 and won the Qatari Super Cup later in the year.
Considered the golden standard of La Masia and one of the greatest midfielders of all time, Xavi has already expressed a desire to return to Barcelona. But he said in May that “now is not the time.”
Xavi won La Liga eight times, the Champions League four times, and the Copa del Rey three times.