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Barcelona Legend, Xavi Hernandez Set To Replace Ernesto Valverde As Coach



Ernesto Valverde

Xavi Hernandez will be the next manager of Barcelona, sources have confirmed to newsmen, with Ernesto Valverde’s tenure at Camp Nou set to come to an end.

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The legendary former midfielder has been in talks with Barca general director Oscar Grau and technical secretary Eric Abidal in recent days.

No public announcement is expected before Xavi’s current team Al-Sadd have played in the final of the Qatar Cup on January 17.

It is still yet to be decided whether Xavi will take charge at the end of the season, or more immediately.

Xavi is keen to take the job straight away and Barca would be happy to take him, but the 39-year-old respects Valverde and doesn’t want to force him out of the role.

Valverde’s future is likely to be high on the agenda at a meeting of the Barcelona board on Monday.

If he is removed from his post, Xavi would be confirmed as his replacement immediately after the Qatar Cup final; if not, he will take over at the end of the season.

With rumours circling, Xavi was asked about taking the Barca job after his side’s 4-1 win over Al-Rayyan in the Qatar Cup semi-final on Saturday.

“I cannot hide it, that is my dream,” he told reporters.

“It is my dream to coach Barcelona, I have said it many times in many interviews. Everybody knows that I support Barcelona from the bottom of my heart, so yes, it’s one of my dreams but I’m focused on Al-Sadd.

“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 my club.

“I’m doing my job here, I’m doing my best.

“I’m focused today on the semi-final, and now we play the final so I’m very happy, I’m very happy to coach Al-Sadd. I cannot say anything else.”

Unrest among Barca’s fans has been growing under Valverde for some time, and Thursday’s 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa semi-final was the latest in a list of disappointments.

The former Athletic Bilbao and Valencia manager has won two Spanish titles, one Copa del Rey and a Supercopa since taking over in the summer of 2017, but Champions League heartbreak at the hands of Roma and Liverpool still weighs heavily over the club.

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