Xavi rejected Barcelona before Quique Setien took charge because offer was 'too early'
"Of course, it's my dream to coach Barca, but it's not the right time."
Last Updated: 16/01/20 1:11pm
Xavi confirmed he rejected Barcelona's approach to replace Ernesto Valverde as head coach because the offer was too soon in his managerial career.
Barca's all-time leading appearance maker, who is currently managing Qatari side Al Sadd, spoke to sporting director Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau last week.
Xavi refused to elaborate on those talks while Valverde was still in the role, but has since revealed he rejected an offer before Quique Setien was announced as the new head coach on Monday.
"Yes, it's true that I have had a proposal from Barcelona, they were here to talk with me, but I didn't accept because I didn't feel that this was a good time for me," said Xavi.
"I'm very grateful to Barca, Abidal and Grau for this proposal. Of course, it's my dream to coach Barca, but it's not the right time. I have to be honest with you and everybody.
"Of course Quique Setien (the new coach) is ready to coach Barcelona. I love him as a coach.
"My heart is for Barcelona and now it is for Quique Setien. I wish him all the best, this is the truth, this is what happened."
Xavi lifted 25 trophies in a 17-year career with Barcelona, appearing 767 times for the club between 1998 and 2015.
He won four Champions Leagues and eight La Liga titles at club level, as well as winning the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships (2008 and 2012) with Spain.
'Xavi mission was doomed for failure'
Spanish football expert Graham Hunter believes Xavi could eventually return to Barcelona as head coach after the club's presidential election next year.
Speaking to the Transfer Talk podcast, Hunter said: "Xavi is very aligned to a presidential candidate who wants to take over the club when there are elections in 2021. His name is Victor Font.
"They work together, they are a team. It is anticipated that is when Xavi will come back.
"This president, [Josep Maria] Bartomeu, went to Xavi to kind of say 'Drop that, forget your friend, forget all your allegiances'.
"He also went to Xavi and said 'Come now, forget the fact your Qatari team has got a cup final to play this Friday'. Something that he's qualified them for. He's been pretty successful in his first season in coaching in Qatar.
"It is no secret he's paid gigantic sums to be there. The idea of persuading him to abandon his club, to abandon the huge contract he's got and to abandon his friend Victor Font, who wants to take over in 2021.
"This was a mission that I think was absolutely doomed for failure."
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