I'd love to coach Barcelona 'one day' - Xavi tight-lipped on negotiations

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Ernesto Valverde's job appears in serious doubt after Barcelona met with Xavi Hernandez amid growing speculation that their former midfield great could become their next coach.

Those rumours were stoked to fever pitch when Qatari club Al-Sadd - where Xavi coaches - said that Barcelona were "negotiating" with him.

"There are negotiations between Xavi and Barcelona now and we wish him success wherever he decides to go," Al-Sadd's sports director Muhammad Ghulam Al Balushi told Qatari television broadcaster Alkass.

Xavi said he had met with Barcelona sports director Eric Abidal on Friday in Doha but did not reveal the nature of the meeting.

He added that he is committed to coaching Al-Sadd for now.

"I don't hide my dream of coaching Barcelona one day, I would love to coach the team," Xavi said after his side's 4-1 win over Al-Rayyan in the Qatar Cup semi-finals.

"I support them and my dream is to train Barcelona, but now my focus is on Al-Sadd

"Eric Abidal is my friend. Out of respect for Barcelona and Al-Sadd, my focus is on the next match against Al-Duhail.

"I cannot speak on this issue and the conversation was on many issues with Abidal."

The 39-year-old Xavi left Barcelona for Al-Sadd in 2015, after 17 trophy-laden seasons.

A World Cup winner with Spain, he is one of the club's all-time greats and has long been viewed as a future coach at Camp Nou.

But most fans expected that day to be far away and for Xavi to perhaps follow the path of former Barcelona players Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique, who returned as coaches of the B-team to gain experience before eventually making the leap to the first team.

Xavi, however, is not the only possible replacement being touted by local media.

Barcelona-based sports daily Mundo Deportivo said that reserve team Javier Garcia Pimienta could be promoted as a snap replacement.

Netherlands manager and former Barcelona star Ronald Koeman has for several years been considered another strong candidate.

Source AAP