Barcelona want Xavi to replace Ernesto Valverde

    Barcelona’s sporting director Eric Abidal and club’s CEO Óscar Grau met Xavi Hernandez on Friday to discuss his return to the Camp Nou, this time as a manager

    Barcelona succumbed to a dismal 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in a massive Spanish Super Cup semi-final showdown in Saudi Arabia, and there’s a genuine feeling that the Catalans now want to part ways with head coach Ernesto Valverde.

    Super Cup elimination has piled more pressure on the Spanish manager, who is also struggling to deliver expected results in La Liga too.

    The reigning Spanish champions have failed to pick up a win in three of their last four league matches, although they still sit at the top of the table, level on points with arch-rivals Real Madrid.

    But, a defeat to Atletico came only a few days after Barcelona played out a disappointing 2-2 draw with dead-last Espanyol, and the under-pressure Valverde seems to be losing confidence at the club.

    Now, as reported by the Spanish outlet, AS, Eric Abidal and Óscar Grau headed to Doha following the Super Cup failure to hold a meeting with Xavi behind the closed doors.

    The current Al Sadd tactician is Abidal’s close friend, but the sources close to Barcelona believe that the nature of their discussion was not a friendly chat but a job proposal.

    Barcelona’s executives have reportedly offered the 39-year-old a two-and-a-half-year contract to take Valverde’s place, effective immediately.

    Xavi spent his entire professional football career at the Camp Nou before saying goodbye to the club in 2015, winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies during his prolific spell at Barcelona.

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