Barcelona have offered Xavi a two-and-a-half-year contract to become new manager


Barcelona legend Xavi looks set to be named as the club's new head coach after he met with Directors in Doha.

The Catalan giants have been in Saudi Arabia for the new-look Spanish Super Cup and it seems as though club officials took to opportunity to meet their former star in neighbouring Qatar to discuss the managerial position.

Current boss Ernesto Valverde is under-fire and his standing wasn't helped on Thursday night as his side conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes to slump to a 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the King Abdullah Stadium.

Goals from Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, playing against his former club, looked to have turned the game in Barca's favour after Koke's opener just after half-time. But late goals from Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa stunned the La Liga champions and set up a Madrid derby in Sunday's final after Real Madrid saw off Valencia.

Valverde hasn't been the most popular appointment at Barcelona since replacing Luis Enrique in 2017, despite winning back-to-back La Liga titles and the Copa Del Rey in his first season with the club.

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Much of the disappointment stems from his inability to bring Champions League glory back to the Nou Camp, with the side not lifting the trophy since 2015, when they last won the treble.

And the manner in which they have exited the tournament has left fans even more bitter, having thrown away three-goal advantages against Roma in the 2018 quarter-finals and against Liverpool in last season's semi-finals.

Former Spain international Xavi called time on his Barcelona playing career after that 2015 Champions League success, having cemented his place as one of their all-time greats.

Having made his debut for the side way back in 1998, he established himself as one of the best central midfielders in the world, and with fellow-Spaniard Andres Iniesta, formed one of the most formidable midfield partnerships ever.

Since hanging up his boots with Al Sadd after four years, Xavi took up the reigns of the club and has seemingly impressed his former employers.

According to AS, Barcelona's Sporting Director, Eric Abidal, and CEO, Óscar Grau, held a two-hour meeting with Xavi on Friday, in which they offered him a two-and-a-half-year deal to replace Valverde.

And whilst he has impressed with Al Sadd in Qatar, taking them to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League last season, there is no doubt that a return to Barcelona would be a massive step up for him.

Equally, it will be a risk for Barcelona to appoint someone with such a limited amount of managerial experience, despite being a former player with knowledge of how the club works.

Appointing Pep Guardiola back in 2008 didn't work out too badly for them though...

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