Barcelona are in talks to appoint Xavi Hernández as their head coach after sacking Ronald Koeman on Wednesday night. The club’s former midfielder is in charge of the Qatari club Al Sadd but wants to return to the Camp Nou and negotiations are continuing to release him from his contract.
Barcelona’s board have been in contact with Xavi over the job for some weeks, with it long having been a question of when Koeman would be dismissed. It is not certain an appointment will be made before Saturday’s game at home to Alavés, meaning Sergi Barjuán, the head coach of Barcelona B, could take interim charge.
Xavi came through Barcelona’s academy and made 767 appearances for the club before finishing his career at Al Sadd. He stepped up to become manager there in May 2019 and would be a popular, unifying appointment at Barcelona even though he lacks top-level coaching experience.
Now 41, he won La Liga eight times and the Champions League four times with the Catalan club as an integral player in the greatest period in their history. He joined the club in 1992, made his debut under Louis van Gaal six years later and departed in 2015 having secured 27 trophies, made 184 assists and scored 85 goals.
Koeman’s sacking came shortly after a 1-0 defeat at Rayo Vallecano left Barcelona ninth, six points behind the leaders, Real Madrid. The Dutchman’s car had been attacked by fans last weekend after a home defeat by Madrid.