According to Goal, Barcelona are in the final stages of appointing Xavi Hernandez as their new head coach as they send club officials to Qatar to conclude a deal that will see the Spanish legend released from his contract with Al Sadd. Xavi is the frontrunner to succeed Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou.
Ronald Koeman was appointed as Barcelona manager in August 2020 on a two-year contract after he left his post as the manager of the Netherlands national football team. The Dutch manager's tenure got off to a bad start as the Spanish side recorded their worst point tally after the first six games in a La Liga with just six points. Koeman also lost out on the Supercopa de Espana as Athletic Bilbao secured a 3-2 win over the Blaugrana in the final.
Barcelona was also knocked out in the Round of 16 of the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain after being unable to overturn a 1-4 loss in the first leg. The Spanish giants also endured disappointment in the La Liga title race that campaign after finishing third in the league table after winning only two of their last five matches. Koeman's second season in charge of the Blaugrana started in disappointing fashion as they endured a terrible run of results in La Liga while also being battered by Bayern Munich and Benfica in their Champions League group-stages ties. A draw against Rayo Vallecano sealed Koeman’s fate as he was relieved of his managerial duties after the conclusion of the match.
Former Barcelona player Xavi Hernandez is the frontrunner for the hot-seat and according to Goal, the deal is close to being finalised. The 41-year-old who is in charge of Qatari club Al-Sadd is looking to end his tenure after the job at Camp Nou was offered to him. It is understood that Barcelona vice-president Rafa Yuste and director of football Mateu Alemany travelled to Doha following the team's 1-0 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kyiv. The Catalan club's officials will sit down in talks with Al Sadd officials to discuss their intention of appointing Xavi on a two-and-a-half-year deal.