Doha (AFP) – As speculation swirled that he was about to return to Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez insisted on Thursday that he was thinking only of his current job, coaching Qatari club Al Sadd.
“I am currently focused on my work with Al Sadd, and I cannot talk about anything else,” Xavi told a press conference ahead Saturday’s match with Al Ahli in the Qatar Stars League.
Barcelona fired coach Ronald Koeman after losing 1-0 at Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday to stay ninth in La Liga, six points behind the leaders.
Spanish media reported that Barca president Joan Laporta was in talks with Xavi about the vacant position on Thursday morning.
Xavi is one of the club’s greatest ever players and there is huge excitement about his potential as a coach, because of his play in midfield in the iconic Barca team managed by Pep Guardiola.
The 41-year-old is from the suburbs of Barcelona, came through the famed youth system and played 17 seasons and more than 750 games for the club before leaving for Qatar in 2019.
After playing four seasons for Al Sadd, he took over as manager in 2019 and led them to a league title last season. They won the Amir Cup last week beating Al Rayyan on penalties in the final.
Al Sadd have won all seven of their league games this season to lead the table.