Xavi Hernandez poised to become the next Barcelona manager

Al-Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP) (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Al-Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP) (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images) /

The manager merry-go-round at Barcelona continues.

Quique Setien has his days numbered at Barcelona following a dismal start to the restart where the team now find themselves four points behind Real Madrid.

Combine a lack of results, improved performance and that the staff has seemingly lost the dressing room means that the club are seriously looking for a replacement for him come next season.

Apparently they’ve found their replacement and it is a familiar face. According to Mundo Deportivo journalist Francesc Aguilar, the Catalans have reached an agreement with Xavi Hernandez to take over.

In a series of tweets, Aguilar says that the supposed agreement would see the former midfielder replace Setien and that he has the approval of the locker room.

Rumors linking Xavi as the next Barcelona manager are nothing new. He was their first choice to take over when they sacked Ernesto Valverde and representatives including Eric Abidal traveled to Doha to meet with him and try to work out a deal.

On that occasion, Xavi rejected their offer as he wanted to take over at the beginning of a new season so he could start off on a clean slate.

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He’s been very open that he would like to one day be the Barcelona manager. In an interview from a couple of days ago, he said that he and his coaching staff were working hard and preparing for when that opportunity comes.

The concern with naming a new manager right now is that with presidential elections a year away, each candidate is going to pitch a potential new manager. Hiring someone now could make him a lame-duck coach one season in.

That would be the case with nearly any other candidate except for Xavi. Victor Font, one of the presidential candidates, has mentioned that he would like him to take over and that appears to be the case with the rest.

In other words, Xavi seems to have the backing of everyone who is in the running to become the next Barcelona president. The hope is too that his appointment may convince Messi to sign an extension after news broke out that the Argentine will leave once his current deal ends in 2021.

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As it stands, however, it is still only a rumor. Xavi is definitely in the running and likely the favorite. If anyone is going to put his stamp on the team and command respect, it will be Xavi. It’s two factors that seem to be missing since Luis Enrique left back in 2016.