Xavi edges closer to Barça return as he arrives back in Catalonia on Monday


The Al Sadd coach could replace Koeman at Camp Nou this summer

| sport

Barcelona are sounding out the option of changing coach in the summer. The vagueness Ronald Koeman has complained about regarding his future, a sensation increased following his lunch with Joan Laporta, stems from the president's desire to make a change on the bench. And Koeman will not remain in charge of the club if negotiations with Xavi Hernandez end with an agreement.

Talks between Mateu Alemany and Xavi, first revealed by Diari ARA, have been confirmed by SPORT. Xavi's negotiating a return to Camp Nou, taking advantage of a clause in his new contract with Al Sadd that allows him to come back to Barça without a fee being involved.

Xavi, who arrives in Barcelona on Monday following the climax of the Qatar season, will take advantage of his stay in Catalonia to step up negotiations with Barça. The main focus, apart from the finances involved, is the power Xavi would have in terms of the rebuild of the first team and the overall setup at the club, down to the academy, as he had a clearly-defined plan in the event he returned with Victor Font, who came second to Laporta in the election in March.

Laporta's win changed Xavi's plans and he renewed with Al Sadd, but the new Barça president is now contemplating bringing Xavi back to have his own man, in the same way he did with Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola in the past, two coaches without much experience coaching the elite in European football.

Koeman, meanwhile, could take charge of his last Barça game on Saturday at Eibar. It would be a bitter sensation for the Dutch coach who has seen several players disappear at a key moment of the season, players that, in private, are keen for the return of Xavi.





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