Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has delivered his verdict on Barcelona’s idea of appointing former club hero Xavi Hernandez the new chief of staff.
Memphis Depay’s spot-kick failure that led to Wednesday’s underwhelming La Liga defeat to Rayo Vallecano accelerated Ronald Koeman’s long-anticipated Barcelona departure.
A 1-0 loss to Vallecano that followed up 2-1 reverse in last weekend’s El Clasico was the final nail in the Dutchman’s coffin as Sergi Barjuan prepares to guide the side from the touchline against Alaves on Saturday.
It is already a known fact that Barjuan is only the interim caretaker, with Barcelona president Joan Laporta working around the clock to hire a new permanent manager.
Xavi, who spent almost his entire playing career at Camp Nou, is reportedly set to take over the managerial reins after the international break.
The news of the Spaniard’s return to Camp Nou has traveled across the world lightning fast, as Pep Guardiola offered his view of Barcelona’s decision to bring in an inexperienced strategist.
“Xavi, if it happens, I don’t have any doubts that he’s ready to do the job,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace, via Daily Mirror.
“He knows the environment which is so important. He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now than I had when I took over.
“If Xavi is the next manager, I wish him all the best and hopefully step by step the team can come back.”
Xavi has plied his managerial trade with Al-Sadd in Qatar over the past two years, which remains his solitary experience in the dugout to date.
Despite the 41-year-old’s lack of practice, Guardiola seems confident one of the world’s best-ever midfielders has what it takes to follow in his footsteps.
The Man City boss is familiar with Xavi’s mindset and overall personal qualities, having coached him throughout the duo’s trophy-laden stint at Barcelona just over a decade ago.
It is now up to Xavi to live up to expectations.