Former Barcelona ace Xavi Hernandez may have been linked with the top job at the La Liga giants, but suggested in a new interview that he wouldn’t take the job due to “issues off the pitch” that are hampering the team on it.
Xavi currently works at Qatari side Al Sadd, but has been repeatedly linked with the Barcelona job, with the popular former playmaker a leading fan-favorite to take over from Quique Setien, whose future at the helm of the Catalan side is far from certain.
The 40-year-old was offered the top job in January after the Barca sacked Ernesto Valverde, saying the timing wasn’t right at the time. And Xavi said that the situation surrounding the club has not improved to the point that he’d be happy to take over.
“There’s a lot of external noise around the club, a lot of issues off the pitch and I don’t think now is the right time,” Xavi told Icon magazine.
“In January I told them it wasn’t the right time and they haven’t contacted me since.
“I’m delighted to continue to gain experience and challenge myself and of course it’ll be a privilege for me to one day coach Barca.”
Xavi also said the club should give Lionel Messi a new contract. The Argentinian star’s current deal expires in 2021 and Xavi said the club needs to address their playmaker’s urged Barca to hand a new contract to Lionel Messi in a bid to calm fears that he may walk away from the club.
“He has earned it, he should have an automatic clause,” Xavi offered.
“Messi needs Barca and Barca need Messi.
“They have to make him happy, because a happy Messi will win more trophies. He has done what Pele, Cruyff, Maradona and Ronaldo all did but over a period of 15 years and in the modern era.
“He is at an incredible level physically, tactically and technically and continues to be the best player in every game.”