Soccer

Xavi breaks silence on Barcelona offer and why he rejected managerial return

Xavi has opened up on why he rejected the chance to take over at former club Barcelona , admitting he was offered the role.

Xavi was strongly linked with a return to the Nou Camp before Ernesto Valverde was sacked by the La Liga giants.

Former Real Betis coach Quique Setien ended up being given the role, signing a two-and-a-half year deal at Barcelona.

And Xavi, who is now in charge of Qatari side Al Sadd, explained his reasons for turning down the chance to manager Barca.

  • Transfer news LIVE: Bruno Fernandes to 'watch' Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal latest

  • Rivaldo discusses his theory why former team-mate Xavi snubbed Barcelona job

"It's true that I received an offer from Barcelona," Xavi confirmed, speaking ahead of the Qatari Cup final, where his side will come up against Al Duhail.

"[Barcelona directors] Eric Abidal and Oscar Grau made the offer, but I didn't accept it. I felt it was too soon for me to coach Barcelona.

"[But] that doesn't mean it's not still my dream to coach Barcelona one day."

Xavi has only been in charge of Al Sadd since last May though has impressed during his spell.

  • Lionel Messi explains how Pep Guardiola changed his game at Barcelona

Valverde was shown the door despite leading Barca to back-to-back La Liga titles and with the Catalan giants top of the table.

They were beaten by Atletico Madrid last week in the Spanish Super Cup with that proving to be Valverde’s last game in charge.

Setien was named as new boss within hours of Valverde’s departure being confirmed.

And the new boss said: "I want to thank this institution for giving me the chance.

  • Rivaldo urges Barcelona to replace Luis Suarez with January transfer signing

"Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. I have to thank the club. I'm excited about this challenge and this project.

"Yesterday, I was walking around my home town with cows around me and now I'm here at Barcelona managing the best players in the world."

Setien’s first game in charge of Barcelona comes on Sunday with Granada making the trip to the Nou Camp.

Read More

Latest transfer newss

  • Pogba's exit could trigger Juve swap
  • Man Utd's four Fernandes alternatives
  • Lampard identifies duo signing priority
  • Arteta wants three signings this month

And the new boss may immediately take the chance to cast his eye over some of the younger stars.

He added: “I always look at the academy players. It is important to keep the first-team players from relaxing.

“I’ve always maintained that if they keep progressing and earn their chance, they will be allowed to be part of the first team.”

Source: Read Full Article