Football

Xavi Hernandez in talks to return to Barcelona as coach

Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez has said it is his dream to coach his former side after his current club, Qatari outfit Al Sadd, confirmed that the ex-Spain midfielder has been in negotiations with the Spanish champions.

Xavi, Barca's all-time leading appearance maker who lifted 25 trophies in a 17-year career with the club, has been linked with a return to the Catalan side since they were beaten 3-2 by Atletico Madrid to exit the Spanish Super Cup last Thursday.

Recent results have heaped pressure on coach Ernesto Valverde, even though his side lead La Liga and are into the Champions League last 16, where they meet Napoli next month.

Xavi confirmed that he had spoken to Barca's sporting director Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau last weekend.

He declined to give details, but said: "I cannot hide it's my dream to coach Barcelona... But I'm doing my job here, I'm doing my best." - REUTERS

Football