Barcelona’s recent loss to Granada, because of which they failed to climb to the top of the La Liga season, has apparently not gone well with club leadership.
That is, according to Cuatro, who report that Laporta has already made contact with Xavi and Al-Sadd as to the conditions under which the club legend could return to manage the first team.
This news is following an incredibly untimely loss to Granada which saw the title race blown wide open. Koeman himself received a red-card during the game and faces a 2 match suspension, which means that he won’t be on the touchline for the match against Valencia and the crucial fixture against Atlético Madrid.
Laporta hasn’t necessarily hidden the fact that the Dutchman was not his first choice to lead his new sports project after he was elected. The president expressed his admiration of then Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, who has since become unavailable after coming to an agreement to coach Bayern Munich next season.
If the report is to be believed, if Koeman fails to win the La Liga title this season, Xavi Hernández will be the coach for next season, as reported by David Bernabeu Reverter. Indeed, leadership at the Catalan club have made contact with him and asked him to not renew his managerial contract with Al-Sadd.
Either way, even if the 41-year-old extends his contract with the Qatari club, it will reportedly contain an escape clause that will allow him to manage FC Barcelona, similar to the clause in Ronald Koeman’s previous contract with the Dutch national team, because of which he was able to sign for La Blaugrana.
Although the Dutchman has failed to perform in big games in the Champions League and La Liga and has failed to climb to the top of the La Liga table with the defeat to Granada on Thursday potentially costing the Catalans the title, there have been positive signs in his tenure.
Aside from the Copa del Rey victory against Athletic Bilbao, Koeman’s faith in youngsters has clearly paid off, with the likes of Pedri, Mingueza, Araújo, and more recently Ilaix Moriba showing incredible promise at Barcelona.
Every success has been at a time of crisis, with Barcelona facing their worst financial situation in the club’s history alongside going through a power vacuum for much of the season with the resignation of former president Bartomeu in October 2020.
Xavi has enjoyed tremendous success at Al-Sadd, leading them to a domestic treble in the 2019/20 season and playing high intensity attacking football, much to the requirements of a team like FC Barcelona.
This is, of course, not the first time he has been linked to a coaching job at the Camp Nou, with reports suggesting that the club legend turned down an offer under Bartomeu’s presidency.
Regardless of whether or not Koeman keeps his job following the season, one thing has been clear: the question of Xavi’s return to Barcelona is not a matter of if, but when.