Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has confirmed he met with officials of the Catalan club amid reports he could be set to take over from under-pressure coach Ernesto Valverde.
Xavi has been linked with a return to Barcelona since they were beaten 3-2 by Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday.
The loss, which came after a surprise 2-2 league draw at struggling Espanyol, has heaped pressure on Valverde with AS reporting Xavi has been offered a contract to take over from the former Atheltic Bilbao boss.
Xavi confirmed media reports that he had spoken to Barcelona’s sporting director and former teammate Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau over the weekend.
Athough he did not give details of the meeting, he acknowledged that he would love to take charge of his former side one day.
“I cannot say anything, they were here to talk to me and we discussed many things. Sorry I cannot give any more information,” Xavi told a news conference after his side beat Al Rayyan on Saturday to reach the final of the Prince’s Cup.
“I cannot hide it’s my dream to coach Barcelona, I’ve said it many times in many interviews, everyone knows I support Barcelona from the bottom of my heart.
“But I’m doing my job here, I’m doing my best. I was focused on the semi-final and now I’m focusing on the final.”
Before the semi-final against Al Rayyan, Al Sadd’s sporting director Muhammad Ghulam Al Balushi confirmed Xavi had been negotiating a move to Barcelona.
“There are negotiations between Xavi and Barcelona now and we wish him success wherever he decides to go,” he told Qatari network Al Kass.
During his time at Barcelona, Xavi won the LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.
He also won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.